The countries featured in this year’s Smithsonian Folk Life Festival are Kenya and China.
In the Kenya area, there is a tent dedicated to art from recycled materials – how awesome!
I was particularly impressed by the art made from recycled flip flops by a company called Ocean Sole. At the festival, they showed how they make their sculptures.
The artist from Ocean Sole told us that they pay people in Kenya to gather the flip flops. Most of them are found in the streams and beaches.
How do they make the flip flop sculptures?
They clean the flip flops and glue them together. They roughly cut out the shape of the item they want to make.
To make the tall giraffe sculptures, they used a form in the general shape of the giraffe, and then glued on the flip flops. They then sculpted the flip flops down into the details of the giraffe.
The pieces of flip flop that they carve off are donated to make mulch at playgrounds.
They also punch tubes out of the flip flops to make beads, like the kind you might see in a beaded curtain.
They also use the plastic Y-shaped tops of the flip flops to make fish.
In the tent with the Ocean Sole folks was a table showing other recycled crafts from metal – mostly insects: