Artist Mykl Wells creates beautiful art pieces out of recycled and reclaimed cardboard.
Almost all of his materials are reclaimed or upcycled. He even recovers the oil paints that he uses from the local hazardous waste disposal. You can't toss leftover oils in the trash, and Wells collects those cast off paints from other artists to use in his work.
I think my favorite project of his is the Lantern Project. He uses reclaimed cardboard to create LED lanterns with a local high school art class. The lanterns are gorgeous, and I love that he's teaching the next generation of artists that reuse can be beautiful.
Wells's most recent installation is the winning sculpture in the 2012 Cartasia art competition (pictured at the top of this post). The piece has a waterproof coating to make it as durable as it is striking. What I found interesting about this piece is that unlike most of Wells's work, the cardboard he used here is new. He said:
Normally I go out and dumpster-dive the cardboard I use in my work. I can show you examples on my site if you are interested. In the case of Cartasia the organizers provided me with new cardboard. We actually fought about it, I preferring to use old boxes. But a big part of the reason Cartasia exists is because that area of Italy is a major cardboard manufacturing center in europe. I was assured that the cardboard is mostly recycled post-consumer waste. And from the look and feel of the sheets they provided me I'm sure that's true but I don't know if it's 100% post-consumer or less.