Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Features · Bottle Cap Belts
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Bottle Cap Belts

Carol South - April 28th, 2008
Whether they’re used to top-off beer, iced tea, pop, pasta sauce or juice, bottle caps may be the latest green accessories.
Putting a twist on her commitment to recycling, Dede Alderman created bottle cap belts in 2006. Their informal styling and subtle sound stem completely from salvage, making them the perfect eco-friendly accessory.
“It’s garbage art,” said Alderman.
The Interlochen resident and co-founder of Rhythmic Adventures is best known for her drumming and leading drum circles. Her bottle cap belts -- most recently clasped with funky buttons, also rescued from the landfill -- are the finishing touches on a wearable percussion instrument. Earlier iterations of her belts used a final bottle cap for a clasp.
“They are inspired by both belly dancing and also Native American dresses,” said Alderman of the belts. She envisions bottle cap armbands and possibly a whole dress sporting the throwaways.
“They’re fun, they’re good for shimmying, the sound has energy about it,” she added.
Alderman has about 15-20 households around the state saving beverage caps for her. She has also received donations from area bars, which generate a lot of used caps in a short time.
“People say, ‘You’re promoting alcohol,’” said Alderman of some disapproval she has fielded. “But I answer, ‘No, I’m promoting recycling.’”
Alderman punches a hole in the caps for stringing together with hemp twine, waxed thread or (rarely because of the expense) sinew. She either sews caps on individually or in a series to speed up production.
After handling so many caps over the past two years, she does not even notice the logos anymore, just the color or sizes.
“Pretty much anything you can string together works,” said Alderman.
“You need a sturdy thread because of the sharp edges.”
Alderman harvests cloth for her belts from Goodwill or family members. She roughly chops the shirts of various fabrics, patterns and colors into swatches. Her husband, Marc, inherited at least 50 ties from his grandfather, recently sparking a variation on a theme.
“I usually use a cotton, but you can try floaty fabrics,” she said.
Alderman debuted the belts two years ago for the Earth Day parade. She sells them at shows when she plays music on the road and is considering placing them in venues around the region if she can build enough inventory.
“I don’t really have them out there but I wish I did,” she said.
This year, she taught others how to make them during two of the many Earth Day Community Art Studio sessions held at the artCenter Traverse City throughout April. She finds that each belt made by a student is different, reflecting a twist of their own personality as they match or contrast colors, shapes and themes among bottle caps.
“The truth is it’s a lot more fun to make these with a group of people,” she said. “And I’m all about sharing the idea.”
 
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