POP (WhiteRosesArt.com)
POP by Heather Miller

Title: POP
Year: 2009
Size: ~14″

POP was created using pull tabs from cat food & soda cans, a bolt cap, and acrylic paint on wood.

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2009 so I’ll do my best to remember.

POP was created because of a charity, well, kind of.  When my husband and I lived in Columbus, Oh, I saved the pull tabs from cans for a charity.  The tabs were collected at my workplace.  When we moved, I had a bunch I forgot to take to work before I left.  I assumed other charities take them (and they do) so I just packed them up with everything else.  And then I packed them up again when we moved a second….and a third time.

In late 2008, I came across the bag with all the tabs in it.  I had no idea what charity took them and there really weren’t that many.  By that time I was just starting to create non-digital art regularly.  I thought they could make for an interesting art experiment.  To be on the safe side, I had my husband start collecting the tabs again (75% of the silver ones came from Diet Pepsi, the rest I ordered on Ebay).

I don’t remember where I got the wood base from.  I think I cut it out in my intro to the 3D studio class.  Regardless of where it came from, it was sanded and painted black.  I was originally going to create the piece entirely out of the silver pull tabs but realized that a larger gold tabs from Fancy Feast cans would add a nice accent.  By that time we were saving those too so I had enough.

I don’t remember exactly how long this piece took but it definitely wasn’t a quick project. I could only glue so many pieces in a session before my back or my eyes would make it hard to continue (my eyes would actually get fatigued, but usually not before my back).  I was also a full time college student by this point, which slowed things down more.

To create a piece like this, you start at the outer edge and work inwards.  I was about halfway done when I realized I was running really short on pull tabs.  I’m pretty sure it was about that time that I heard Artomatic was coming up.  I knew I wanted to exhibit there but I wasn’t sure my husband was going to drink enough Diet Pepsi in time (seriously, he has a problem).  I did what the only thing I could do:  head to Ebay.  Sure enough there were a lot of people selling pull can tabs.  I was kind of dumbfounded by that honestly.  I was more dumbfounded by the price some people were charging for them.  I ended up buying several ziplock bags off of Ebay to finish this in time which, to this day, has got to be the weirdest thing I’ve ever bought on Ebay (or the internet for that matter).  The center piece is a nut of some kind.  It has a name but I’ve totally forgotten what that would be.

The name is a double entendre.  First, it’s a direct nod to the pop cans that most of the pull tabs came from.  Second, the piece also reminded me a bit of fireworks at the moment they “pop.”