Sourcing PVC material

“Are you the potter?”

“Your ceramics are beautiful”

These are the words I often hear regarding my artwork, which is the basis of my concept.
I let people discover for themselves what the material is and they are astounded that it is actually plastic. Not just any plastic but your ordinary household gutter PVC piping that most people have lying around in their garage.

For creating larger pieces I work with a larger diameter pipe that isn’t found in your retail outlets. So I wanted to give an insight into the places I go as an artist in search for materials to create something different. Being in a new city I am still sourcing materials and trying to find PVC as waste material. The specific pipe I needed was the last piece left in Cape Town and it is only made once a year, so of course I had to have it… all 6 meters of it!

I got to walk around the massive factory that produces a variety of different types of pipes used for construction. There are so many sections and equipment used in the whole process.  Being able to see up close how this material is made and what the whole factory looks like was fascinating for me. So I wanted to share with you what my material actually is and where it comes from before it takes shape into a PVC lamp.

pvc art
It took teamwork to carry the very long and heavy pipe.
As you can see its majority of blue pipes they produce, not so much the white.

Warren and his team cutting the pipe down to size so I could fit it into my car and still carry it afterwards. Most people come in their flat deck trailers or bakkies, and I come along in my little sting.

A very noisy recycling station – pipes waiting to be melted down again and re-used.  I tried to see what off cuts I could possibly use but the whole factory had a zero waste policy and promote the use of recycled PVC, so I couldn’t help by turning any of their waste to art.

pvc light
All my blank canvasses that I cant wait to start work on, but first some more cutting, cleaning and sanding.

So now you can see what ends up as pretty smooth looking “ceramics” was once dirty piping that is used in construction.

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