What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Paper or Plastic?


Natalya Aikens

When I spotted Natalya Aikens’ beautifully-quilted artwork at The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn, I was utterly charmed. Her subjects – skyscrapers, buildings, bridges, water towers, and fire escapes – satisfy the native New Yorker in me on a positively molecular level. But when she told me the embroidered piece I was admiring was actually done on used plastic shopping bags, I loved them even more.

Aikens’ process is incredibly complex. Taking her inspiration from the city’s architecture, she begins by photographs her subjects, then manipulates them in Photoshop until she’s got the basic shape down. She then begins creating her canvas by layering materials like vintage linens, fabric scraps, and plastic shopping bags. After sketching her design on the newly-made canvas, Aikens begins to sew, first on her machine, then by hand, spending “many hours of meditative hand stitching on all the intimate details.” All that attention to detail really pays off. Her finished works are truly spectacular, richly-textured renderings of the city we both love.

You can check out Aikens on her website and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Her work can be purchased at SaatchiArt and on Artful Home.

All images property of Natalya Aikens, used with permission.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

13 thoughts on “Paper or Plastic?

  1. I’ve never seen plastic bags used as an artistic substrate before. That’s pretty cool and a very creative way to recycle.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I found all of them to be interesting. I have never seen any, but I bet somewhere in the world somebody is making 3-D art with a 3-D printer. Which is a relatively new medium. But using plastic bags is also. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! I’m sending along the link to this to my son & his wife (they live in Brooklyn)!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh mercy! This kind of talent gives me heart burn. Why can’t I do something like that?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much Donna for sharing my work!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful way to create! I sew and quilt, but never considered plastic bags as material. Her results are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.