British artist Nikki Ella Whitlock takes recycling to ethereal levels by transforming old glass into stunning mosaics. With a mix of tiles and glass mostly from used wine bottles, the Derbyshire-based artist has created a series of beautiful tables, wall pieces, and colorful portraits. Each one-of-a-kind piece is made created from 90 to 95 percent recycled materials, making them as eco-friendly as they are gorgeous.
Inspired by nature, Whitlock’s pieces combine organic forms with ethereal creatures that could pas as fairies or nymphs. Her work, whether in fine art or her furniture pieces, often include images of flowers, greenery and stars, swirled together with vivid colors of glass and tile. The imagery pleases the eye on multiple levels—in bold color, in the glint of catching sunlight, and then with the recognition of familiar objects inlaid within the surface of the pieces.
Whitlock scours trash and secondhand shops, finding broken necklaces, peacock feathers, baubles, and loose beads to use as elements to transform into patterns and imagery. Wine bottles are a main source of her recycled inspiration: after collecting bottles in tones of green, gold, brown, and sometimes blue, Whitlock smashes the bottles herself into usable bits. After assembling her image, the pieces are fused together in her kiln.
Using found materials is a challenge that Whitlock finds inspiring, especially the transformation of wine bottles into eye-catching pieces that glitter when reflecting sunlight. The resulting pieces are inspiring themselves, giving new life to used glass in both fine art and functional objects.