Surfboard Art with Beach Plastic

Recently, Surfrider had a contest for it’s “Rise Above Plastics”/ One Foot at a Time campaign, so it looked like it would be fun to enter. Before I headed out for Costa Rica, I thought I’d try an entry. I collected my trash on the CCAFS/Merritt Island Refuge shorelines, which are just north of Port Canaveral. These beaches get a lot of washed in flotsam debris from other beaches, boats, and ships.
Essentially, to get started, they gave you an outline template you printed out on letter sized sheets and taped together. I chose the surfboard template:

Surfboard template

The idea was, to take the outline and creatively fill it in with beach or community trash you collect.  Here’s just a sampling of what I collected- I had to collect a LOT to get a good variety.

Just a bit of the trash collected

I eventually wanted to be able to mount this “art”, so I traced the Surfrider template onto a cardboard beach toy box to use as a base.

Template outlined on the scrap cardboard
The back side of the cut out piece

To begin, though, I did layout some pieces on a paper template to get an idea of what I had to work with. Some of the plastic was so brittle from being outdoors and in the water so long, it easily broke into tiny bits for a mosaic, which was good for art’s sake, but bad since everything was so fragile to work with.

Laying up the general pieces for an idea

Once I had an idea of what I wanted, I used a hot glue gun to start gluing pieces down to the cardboard surfboard template. I started with the “stringers” of the surfboard, using long pieces of plastic handles, straws, etc. I used some of my pattern weights I made for sewing to hold the cardboard down.

Starting the final piece- drew the Rusty logo on the board to make into a mosaic
Pattern weights to hold cardboard down while glue dried

Additionally, I touched up the R in the Rusty logo with tiny bits of this reddish plastic, using a fishing bead I found as a perfect dot!

This part burnt my fingers a lot!

Instead of the green at the top layout, I wanted to start out with blue plastics and work into lighter greens then darker greens.

Darker blue pieces
Working down into lighter blue pieces

A lot of this work required hand breaking pieces to fit, or doing a lot of rearranging so everything would get filled in. I finally had most of the board filled in, ready for detail work:

After stressing over it, and making sure holes were filled in, things were balanced, and so forth, I tried to make myself stop working!!

The next stage was to take the piece out to the beach for it’s “modeling shoot”. This is the final picture I sent into Surfrider:

The Finished Entry

Keeping my fingers crossed, but it’ll be fun to hang up anyway, win or lose!

One thought on “Surfboard Art with Beach Plastic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s