Trash to Treasure

Unintentional Predictions

Nov. 19, 2021

I taught upcycling courses this summer, and one of the projects was to make a junk mail collage (you may have seen some of my experiments last year). Junk mail collages are much easier and quicker to do than the Cooling Triangular Collage that I had posted earlier this week.

My students rated this project 4 out of 5 stars, and this oftentimes turned out the best. No joke, when students held up their collages to the camera, some were unexpectedly really good. Parents whose child had a really good collage sent me an email telling me how well the project turned out.

Getting to the unintentional predictions, when I made these collages, the following events either hadn’t happened or wasn’t on my mind.

Shattered Mirror was my first one. It was the summer, so I chose blue because it’s a cooling color and reminded me of water. When I completed the collage, I took a step back and thought it looked like a shattered mirror, and named it as such. Additionally, it can be symbolic of people who have been through trauma and feel shattered on the inside, and sometimes, on the outside.

A junk mail collage using the pages from a periodical. Pages are torn into smaller, irregular pieces. There are three colors: white, blue, and dark blue. Much of the white contain letters on the ad, and some portions of the ad's background. Blue occurs the most with 10 or so spots of dark blue, which are spread a peculiar way.

As I photographed this for this post, it looked more like an expanse of water, which reminded me of the flooding in New York and New Jersey in September. You can also imagine this as the effect of glaciers melting and inundating islands, the powerfully negative effects of climate change.

Hot! Hot! Hot! was my second one. As you can see, there is an active volcano with lava flowing. This reminded me of the volcanic eruption in La Palma, Spain in September that hasn’t stopped, yet. Cumbre Vieja is still ebbing and flowing, according to Voice of America.

The canvas is divided into thirds. The top third depicts a mountain with lava oozing down the volcano in multiple streams. There is a giant rock nearby and dark sky. The middle and bottom third depict a different kind of lava, one that's less threatening than the one on the volcano through the use of lighter shades of red. There are gradients of light red that's not exactly pink to not quite white. The lava evoke a gentle warmth from the lighter colors.

Pursuits was my last one and also my favorite of the three. I like how the foliage looks like a collage in a collage. The earthy brown, salmon, red, and white work well together with the foliage.

When I photographed this for this post, Pursuits reminded me of the fire retardant firefighters released onto the numerous wildfires on the West Coast of the U.S., beginning in the summer. I live in one of the fire-impacted states. At the time, I was more concerned about preparing materials and teaching my students, than about the wildfires.

Collage using junk mail. Features lots of greenery mixed with shades of coral, red, and beige.

I don’t wish for any of these disasters to happen, but they did, all of which are coincidentally in 2021, except the wildfires. Wildfires have been a threat to the West Coast of the U.S. for a while, and it’s getting worse every year by doing more damage, starting earlier and ending later in the year, stronger winds, or all of the above. This year, there is also a suspected arsonist among one of the causes for these difficult-to-control wildfires.

Have you ever experienced an incident and didn’t make anything of it at the time, but in retrospect, interpreted it as a prediction?

NanoPoblano Day 19 Done!

One thought on “Unintentional Predictions

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