More than a Can of Worms!

My wacky week of art production has been much ado about–you guessed it–tin cans.

It hasn’t been a can of worms, exactly, but it hasn’t yet let up, either.  In fact, it may have intensified.  To be sure, things in my life are far from calm—far from boring—far from what I’d expected even a few months ago.

Given the pace, I’ve still not read, in a number of days, a single post written by my blog buddies.  (Sorry.  Truly, I am.  I miss you all!)  Nor have I written one word of my own.  In fact, these few sentences may be as good as it gets for now.

Below, however, are a few photos of my weekend creations.  Hope you enjoy.

First are images of a piece I created for my nephew Johnny’s birthday.  Recently, Johnny started college and moved into his first apartment.  He asked me to make something for his new home that incorporated a palette of black, white, and red.  I don’t generally use a lot of red in my work, so this took me a bit out of my creative comfort zone—though not so far that cat food cans weren’t involved.  Go figure.

This weekend also launched the college football season here in the US.  In honor of that, I created more cat food can Christmas ornaments, one of which, in particular, pays tribute to our local University of Kentucky Wildcats.

I’m going to create two more pieces similar to the one I did for Johnny, only with different color palettes.  The first will incorporate purples, pinks, and greens and include, among others, the can below.

The second will also use Coke tabs to explore variations on the flower motif, this time, a tin can garden in green, blue, and pink.

Finally, I couldn’t help but recreate the kind of pencil-holder-from-soup-can I last tried back in Kindergarten.  Hopefully, my technique has improved since then.

Today is a holiday in the US, Labor Day to be specific.  If you live in my part of the planet, what will you do to celebrate?    (Somehow I bet it won’t involve making art out of cat food cans.)  If you’re from another part of the world, does your country have a holiday that celebrates the value of hard work and national pride based on that labor?

Happy Labor Day to each of you, wherever you live!

Note:  I may be doing a protected post again soon.  Remember, the password for all protected posts is “mother.

91 thoughts on “More than a Can of Worms!

  1. These can creations are spectacular! At first glance I thought they were reinvented hub caps! Gosh – you are pretty amazing; I just might look though my out-for-recycling tin cans and see what I can come up with. Great idea, thank you!


    • Oh, yes, Jennifer, go look through your recycling. There is gold out there, for sure. How funny that you thought they were hubcaps. I know which images you are referring to, however. Those are old chrome knobs placed inside a cat food can. Have a great day, my friend.


  2. I think the pencil holders may be a great seller. I love all of it. Your creative juices are flowing and I think you should keep at it as long as it lasts. I know you’ll be back. Thanks for sharing your work.


  3. I’m jealous of the art that Johnny is getting! I know of a fantastic little black and red house that would be PERFECT for/in. As usual Kathy your art work is beautiful. And fun. And I can’t wait to see more!!!!


  4. I want Johnny’s present since red is my favorite color!!!! Beautiful!!!!! You are so gifted!!!! I think my fav is the one with the sea urchin!!! Amazing! My day will be spent doing a few things in the yard with top priority replacing river rocks in the bed where the turkeys have scratched it out in the yard looking for fallen bird seed! 🙂


  5. I agree with Beth Ann! Red is my fave color too and that piece for your nephew is gorgeous! I also agree with Andra. Your UK cans are bound to be a big hit! For Labor Day I’m trying not to strangle my kids. 😉


  6. Johnny is, I’m sure, delighted for this gift from his auntie! What a nice job. It’s good to be busy…as long as we’re not too busy. We’re not doing much this weekend except awaiting the arrival of our son. He’s coming for a few days–we haven’t seen him in a long time. Can’t wait!


  7. Kathryn, your work is SO intricate, detailed and beautiful — I simply cannot believe the work that goes into one can! I can’t (no pun intended) imagine how you do it!! Happy Labor Day … take the day off, sweetie pie!!


  8. It seems to have been THAT kind of week for many of us … too busy to blog, too busy to read and comment on blogs. I say we all forgive each other and move on! 🙂

    I love the red, black and white piece you created for Johnny! Looking at it, I would never guess you struggled with it. Being out of your comfort zone seems to promote another level of creativity in you!

    I didn’t celebrate today. I just used the extra time to catch up on things that needed doing around the house.


  9. Your designs are truly spectacular and very creative. Hope you make your quota and come up for air soon, and when you do, hope you’ll check out the post I wrote this weekend on Clint Eastwood and his chair incident. 😉


  10. Another very inspired installation Kathy. Johnny’s a lucky guy to have an aunt as creative as you. My niece, Sweet Pea, just started college last week. All she’s getting from me is a card with fifty bucks that she’ll probably blow at Starbuck’s and Mickey D’s.


  11. When I see the word Create on one of the decorated cans, it is so appropriate for you Kathy, when you can create stunning objects from cat food cans! Amazing!!

    Australia celebrates Australia Day on the 26th of January each year, which is when the first settlers arrived in Australia (with convicts in tow!) We also have Anzac Day on April 25th, in memory of all of the fallen soldiers since World War 1. They are the two main holidays in Australia, as we don’t have anything like Thanksgiving, which I think is a lovely idea. Each state has a Labour Day on different days of the year, but I’m not even sure what that one is for! 🙂


    • Oh, Joanne, thank you. You are so sweet. And how interesting that each state in Australia had its own Labor Day. Fascinating. And I had forgotten about the convicts that were sent there. Hope you are doing well, my friend. Great to hear from you!


  12. I can see Sara pulling her hair out, “Not only cat food tins but pop tabs too?!?” I’d love to see you do a whole desk set. I’m betting the football themed ornaments will be big sellers. Miss your comments on my blog. Glad you’re feeling productive.


  13. I love Johnny’s black and red birthday surprise! I think I’m drawn to repetitive geometric designs and the illusion of predictability. It’s calming and interesting at the same time. I keep going back to look at it more. I really like how you flipped the first and last cans (but I have no idea why I like it). Really cool stuff. How did Johnny like it? It must be fun having an artist for an aunt.


    • Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen Johnny to give him his gift, and it’s been a week since his birthday. He’s a busy college freshman with not enough time to hang with his aunt. Alas. I too am drawn to the repetition in geomentric designs. I agree that it’s calming!


  14. The sea urchin kind of freaked me out, though. See? I’m just not cut out for visual art. I’d have to “fix” the thing that didn’t “belong.” I really like that you incorporate words too. Words make me happy.


  15. PS I made a pencil cup for my dad for Christmas. I tiled it with keys from an old broken laptop. I had a really hard time not putting the letters in some kind of order and then ended up trying to plan some randomness. I gave up and spelled out some words and filled in the rest without looking at what key I picked up. It was really kind of stressful. Is that weird?But Daddy really liked it, so it was worth it.


  16. Pingback: Recycled Art: Trash to Treasure | The Woven Tale Press

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