‘Creative outlet’

Arts / March 16, 2017

Artist turns trash into treasure

A fifth generation native to Hot Springs, artist Lucy Bright began making bottle cap magnets in 2010 as a “creative outlet.”

She obtained her associate degree in applied science and graphic design at National Park College and went on to get her bachelor of fine arts degree at Northern Arizona University before returning home to Arkansas.

“I was saving bottle caps; I didn’t really know why,” Bright said. “But then I ran across these adorable vintage Halloween images and I thought, ‘those would fit perfectly in the caps to make magnets,’ so in 2010 I tried that. It was a success and it’s just grown since then.”

Bright gets the images from graphic designers off the internet. “They are all copyright-free or I have approval from the original artist to use their image,” she noted.

She said she enlists all of her beer-drinking friends to save the bottle caps for her.

She prints the image, places it in the cap and pours a two part epoxy over the image. The epoxy’s activator hardens, making it into a glasslike surface.

“These are very substantial, waterproof. I put a very strong magnet on the back HER ARTSbecause I like to collect things on the refrigerator and I hate it when the magnet’s not strong enough and they slide down. These are very, very strong,” Bright said.

Bright sells the magnets individually for $4 a piece or a six-pack for $20, which includes one free magnet and a tin case.

“This has been kind of a creative outlet for me, where I still get to tinker in something but I do work a full-time job at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, so that takes up a lot of my time right now,” she said. “I also am a trained metalsmith, so currently I’m doing jewelry repair work, but hope to get back to the bench and go back to my metal work.”

The magnets are currently being sold at Green Corner Store in Little Rock and Red Light Roastery in Hot Springs.

Bright is a participating artist in the Handmade for the Holiday Shop, which pops up every year in a different location downtown. She will also be a vendor at the Craft Beer Festival in Hot Springs this spring.

Her online vintage Etsy shop at http://www.LuJosVintage.etsy.com contains vintage items that she re-purposes, recycles and reuses.

Photography by Mara Kuhn

Lindsey Wells

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