When you google “capsule art” you see some beautiful pieces made out of Nespresso capsules, including some of the works submitted by Swiss people to Nespresso’s Second Life project and great Aboriginal Artworks in the Australian Nespresso Boutiques by Nespresso Australia; along with some other practices and so many earrings, butterflies, lamps or similar decorative objects. So by category, it falls under capsule art.
But for me, art is something else.
Each item requires average 80-100 capsules so on top of my personal consumption, I collect used capsules from my friends. Their names are listed under credits section. I clean the caps and pile them on according to their colors.
I loosely write down or draw the shape of each piece before start to understand the size and required number of capsules. For instance, I couldn’t write #01 Ruvre in their colours as after scaling it, there were not enough black (Ristretto) capsules.
I write down or draw the shape by Nespresso capsules on top of a paper. Then I circle the exact position of each capsule and cut the holes by a stationary knife. This part of the process is the most time and handwork intense one, and I am looking for a better way to do it. Till then, I will stick to the best way I know.
Stencil gives the approximate dimensions of the wood base. I use simple 4mm medium-density fibreboard (MDF), which is available in the market. I work at Kısmet Mobilya Carpentry in Göktürk, where I live.
If I am going to paint the base, it has to be done at this stage. Otherwise, like in the #01 Ruvre, painting it after installations of LEDs is more complicated and there is no room for mistake. To finalize the bases, I place a stencil on top of them proportionally and temporarily fix it by tapes.
Holes and LEDs:
At this stage, I use 5mm drillings bit for wood to open holes in the middle of each circle. I keep the stencil attached to the wood in order to avoid scratches during drilling and installation of LEDs, their circuits and transformers. I work with Led Sepeti, a local LED supplier at Şişhane, Istanbul.
Switches and Cables:
In the first batch of the project, I decided to add a simple switch and a lovely colour knitted cable to each piece after all work. In the upcoming works, I will plan the process accordingly. Switches are located on the side of the frame in case you need to place it on a rack or surface.
I use 5cm thick wood for framing in order to protect capsules from crush and keep electrical work hidden behind the base. I apply only oil onto the frames to keep them natural and let the caps and light grab the attention.
The final stage is gluing the capsules into the base. I highlight the circles by using the stencil and remove it before I start placing the capsules. This is another reason why I keep the stencil until the last stage.
I have tested different adhesives and decided to use white glue. It doesn’t dry quickly so have time to do final touches and fixes. It is also easy to apply it to the capsules by pouring the glue into a small plate and sipping the capsules into it.
Cleaning, especially the excessive glue is important. So a couple of hours after the gluing I wipe out the entire base.
As long as these pieces are destined to end up at some other places, I take pictures of them.
I really enjoy what am I doing. I thought about this concept almost a year ago and started to work on it. Step by step you realize the idea, and that brings the joy. It takes hours and days to do one piece, but it is like meditation. You spent a long time without thinking the personal and emotional issues along with daily news, war, coup d’état, politics and irrational practices under the state of emergency in my country. Coffee, of course, Nespresso, and cigarettes are my only companions during work.
As long as it is an upcycling process, there is also a small positive contribution to the environment too. Nespresso is working on recycling projects for a long time. Watch the video to learn more on Nespresso YouTube Channel.
Last but not least, potentially engaging regular Nespresso consumers and encourage them to make a piece for themselves.
Yes, you can do it too!