While walking through a grocery store in 2011, Merideth Young had an ah-ha moment, aisle 7, the beverage aisle. She noticed all the colors and patterns on the cans. She thought to herself, “I wonder what I can make out of that!” With a BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry design, it didn’t take her long to think jewelry! Making a purchase of beautiful turquois and pink iced tea cans, she consumed them and begun making her first piece of up-cycled aluminum can jewelry. More than a dozen prototypes later she finally had a pattern deemed worthy enough to put out into the world. That’s how the “Uncanny Collection” was born.
Merideth creates beautiful, lightweight and funky jewelry from upcycled aluminum cans. She uses no electricity for this process which is another plus for the environment. She collects the cans from the local recycle center, restaurants, friends, family, and anyone who she notices throwing out a cool, colorful can. It’s repurposed for art’s sake! Learn more about Merideth with our Q&A.
How do you describe your palette?
My Palette is ever changing. It consists of aluminum cans that have been given to me. I get my cans from friends, family, our local brewery, restaurants and the recycle center in Ronceverte. I’ve been known to stop someone on the street and ask them for their empty can. I create with what I’m given.
What’s your greatest accomplishment? I’ve got two. Helping save the planet one can at a time and challenging people to follow in my footsteps. While demonstrating my craft at shows I’ll see people’s eyes light up and the “ah-ha” moment happens. The wheels are turning, and they start giving me ideas of what to recycle next. It’s pretty cool.
Saving the planet was my main inspiration for creating things out of aluminum cans. There are so many good things we toss aside every day that could be put to some good use. Finding a way to repurpose some of it is my gift to the environment. – Merideth Young
What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?
Realizing money isn’t the most important thing in the world. When your a creative soul you are destined to create. It’s not necessarily a choice, it’s how we are wired. When we focus on the bottom line it hinders the creative flow. We have to appreciate the gift we are given and share it with the world.
How do you find your inspiration?
Mine came from aisle 7, in the grocery store. It was an iced tea can. Inspiration can be found anywhere!
What advice do you have for other artists?
Never give up. Roll with the flow. Don’t get discouraged. Practice makes perfect, and don’t think worry about the bottom line. Trust in your gift. It was given to you for a reason. Listen to your heart and just create.
How can our readers find you?
Stop by WV Fine Artisans Gallery located on W. Washington Street in downtown Lewisburg or visit meridethyoung.com
– Hashtag #79, July 2016.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.