Green Philosophy

Catarina's Studio Catarina's Studio

The Studio is Green

I work in a recycled metal shipping container I transformed into a studio. Most of the things in the studio are either recycled or were found free. The floors are bamboo, and the led lighting is energy efficient. My magnet board is recycled from an old Ikea bed frame, the bulletin idea board was found on the side of a building that was going out of business and painted with a 0 VOC bright purple paint I got from a green supply store. The studio is solar-powered. I carry and deliver my art and any supplies I need in a Prius. I do a fair amount of work outside in a workspace I built. It's where I do the rough stuff: sanding, plasma cutting and welding, using sunlight instead of electric light. There are several redwoods on the property, and when I’m lucky I get to see a raven or a hawk fly past.

The Work is Greener

I love working with metal, especially aluminum, because it has a wonderful lightness and malleability. For example, I have used thick aluminum to construct and design large four sided standing sculptures, I’ve also use thinner aluminum to pound a bra into shape for one of my fashion pieces. Aluminum is one of the most recycled metals on the planet.

Another way I’m going greener in my art by is by using LEDs for my lighting requirements and doing less neon. Neon requires mercury to function. The small amounts of mercury in neon tubes require that it be handled carefully and disposed of properly, which I have always been meticulous about.

Although I have no wish to see my work destroyed, I’m also not under any illusions about the impacts humankind has created for our planet. Perhaps someday one of my pieces will be melted down to create something needed by people in the future. I began making my own clothes because I wanted creative control over my style, and I wanted to know that my clothes weren’t being produced in a factory somewhere by a child. I’m talking the talk, but I’m also walking the walk. I use as few toxic products in my work as possible, and this makes my work cleaner. I’m polluting less and buying products from people who think about making greener products. Walk softly, and carry a big green stick.

Themes are Green

Lastly, I’d like to say I started making a series of complex four-sided aluminum sculptures designed to be an exploration of the beauty inherent in our natural world. The first piece, Evolution, was a study of the fossil record and of creatures that began to evolve from the earliest Pre-Ordovician period, some 4.5 billion to 5 billion years ago, all the way up to the Triassic period. If you study my simple metal cutting and see the silhouette cut outs illuminated from within, there is no denying the beauty of our planet’s first animals. Some creatures were so perfect they have stayed exactly as they have originated, the jellyfish, starfish, and nautilus are prime examples.