Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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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