Indian artisans Angeline Babu and Rituparna Das are the mothers behind Silver Nut Tree on Facebook. What they make is amazing recycled plastic bottle art jewelry in part to inspire their children to recycle. They are constantly experimenting with how to turn "trash" into viable beautiful products aptly named The Phoenix Range.

They work with PET plastic bottles, CD cases and bottlecaps.  I asked Angeline if it was an image transfer technique. She said it is along similar lines.  She added, "We have concocted our on mixtures and glazes that help build a bare wash of the colors and patterns on to the surface. Then it's hand painted to bring in a glaze and depth that the image looks sorta like silk or mother of pearl trapped and sealed in plastic. We fuse another sheet of plastic to the cured art with rubber glue to keep the art intact and protected." 

"Then the rest is just wire work and beading. Since we are an ex-banker and ex-graphic designer team who had no idea what a jump ring or head pin is every element is self taught and it's been an amazing crazy journey."  

Their willingness to experiment and their patience has paid off dividends. The colorful jewelry is so good, one would be hard pressed to guess the humble origin of the materials.  The designers often, but not always, go for cultural and religious imagery.

It takes them close to 3-4 days to finish an image focal.  They don't know why but any attempt to hurry the process results in color bleeds or cloudiness.  

The designers explained, "Plastic is fussy we realized, nothing sticks to it, it's not porous in the least, colors run. Silver Nut Tree has had to have more ways of what does not work on plastic to what works and we are still refining the process, learning in a way."  That is the way all designers are - constantly working on improving in all ways. What an inspirational pair!

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