In its simplest definition, joinery is the method of connecting two pieces of wood together. The technique is a basic and fundamental skill in the craft of woodworking. Royal College of Art graduate Micaella Pedros has taken a different approach to joinery with her masters project Joining Bottles, which reveals a way of making furniture through upcycling plastic bottles.
Pedros bases her project on the fact that a PET (Polyethylene Terephtalate) bottle is thermoplastic, which means that it melts when heated. Using a heat gun, the young designer shrinks plastic bottles to join two pieces of wood together. The new technique repurposes plastic bottles while producing interesting wood work born out of urban resourcefulness.
In Joining Bottles, Pedros plays around with different shapes and types of wood, as well as different colour plastics in an experimental and artful take on joinery.
For Pedros, the aim of Joining Bottles is to create awareness around the creative potential of plastic waste within design. The advantage of working with plastic bottles is that they are ubiquitous and they cost nothing if collected. To share her easy and affordable joinery method, the designer held workshops in collaboration with R-Urban Wick, an open-source community that explores and teaches urban resilience and DIY culture.
When commenting on the project, Pedros said:
“Everyone encounters plastic bottles and learning about a new way to make use of it inspires people to try it out themselves. It also shifts our perspective on waste and contributes to raising awareness by showing a new approachable and easy-to-make application.”