This artist creates intricate sculptures of animals made completely out of trash including plastic spoons, old ping pong balls, and even unused catheters.
35-year-old Stephanie Hongo embraced trash art four years ago because at the time she could not afford art supplies.
Now Stephanie, who lives in Connecticut, has created over 100 detailed artworks of animals, sometimes screwing together hundreds of pieces of trash for one piece.
Stephanie appeals to friends and family for spare trash and also sources specific pieces from Facebook groups to complete her incredible sculptures of lobsters, octopus, and other animals.
She has used a Barbie leg to create a unicorn’s horn, unused catheters as the antennas of a lobster, and plastic forks for the feathers of an owl.
Stephanie, who creates her art under the name Sugarfox, explained that she turned to trash to make her artworks as she was strapped for cash after quitting her job as an artist-in-residence at grocery store chain Trader Joe’s in May 2017.
She was inspired by Portuguese artist Bordalo II, who makes large scale installations out of trash.
She made a rule that she will never purchase plastics for her sculptures.
“I won’t ever purchase plastic, I don’t like the idea of buying anything outside the paint and the hardware that I need,” She said. “I do ask for plastic tubing or old basketballs on community pages on Facebook.
Despite using recycled materials, Stephanie resists the label of ‘eco artist’ as she uses spray paint to complete her pieces.
“I do find it necessary to tell people that I’m not an eco artist. The recycling aspect of my art is something I’m very proud of but it’s not the driving force behind it.
The animal kingdom is Stephanie’s favorite subject and she likes how nailing trash together gives the works a sci-fi, steampunk look.
She spends between ten hours and two weeks on each piece and has developed a knack for finding the perfect piece of trash to build her artworks.
“Some pieces need hundreds of pieces of trash.
“Ping pong balls are very commonly used in my art as well as a lot of extension cords, old telephones, old remote controls, and lots of plastic toys.”
Stephanie, who shows off her artworks on her Instagram @sugarfox_art, said that her artworks start at $300 with her eight-foot long octopus going for $5,000.
She hopes to one day sculpt a winged dragon measuring ten feet.