Green Crafters, Part VI: LH Originals

Continuing through the show, I stumbled upon LH Originals. Like most great ideas, Louise Harris stumbled upon hers by accident. Her artwork is made from recycled furnace filters. Interestingly, her medium goes through three filters of recycling before reaching her studio in Minneapolis. The metal sheets originate in Mexico, where they are punched out into bottle caps. The remaining metal is sent to Chicago where it’s turned into furnace filters. From there, Louise collects the used filters—and with a little elbow grease—cleans them up and creates her original works for abstract art. Here, Louise shares with us a little bit more about her work:

Gig: What makes your craft eco-friendly?

I collect old, dirty, used filters from friends, families and even a few strangers and businesses! I take them apart, recycle the cardboard frame, properly dispose of the insulation and all the dust and then clean up the remaining metal.

Gig: How did you get started?

Well, getting started was purely by accident. Being that my art is made out of recycled furnace filter materials, the idea came to me one day when I was changing my filter. As someone who is trying to be environmentally sensitive, I was frustrated with the fact that the filter was not recyclable. So I started taking it apart thinking the cardboard could be recycled at the very least. Ultimately, that left me with the metal sheets and it prompted me to play.

Gig: Did you know that furnace filters would be your medium of choice for your art?

I’ve always had a creative side but until now, it was expressed through knitting and some abstract watercolor work. But this material worked for me—the uniformity of the metal plays nicely with my personal slant toward modern-contemporary work. So I played and the first piece was one-dimensional with no color. It evolved from there to become colorful, 2-dimensional pieces that were given as gifts to family and friends. That was 5 years ago and now I’m doing a couple art shows a year. So far, it has been very well received and I’m honored to have won an award at my second show.

Gig: Do you practice other green initiatives?

I do my very best to do my part in this world and that includes being sensitive to my ecological/environmental footprint. This ranges from driving a hybrid car to recycling as much as possible to all the other sensible things we can do to save energy, water and electricity. Being an artist that works with recycled materials, it is interesting how many people are wanting to learn more while walking an art show. So whenever I can, I try to educate others and to learn from others.

Photos used with permission from Louise Harris, LH Originals.
2 Responses to “Green Crafters, Part VI: LH Originals”
  1. artistatexit0 says:

    I always wondered what could be done with those filters! Thanks for your post.

    • gabyingreen says:

      Hi there!

      Thanks for stopping by and checking Green Design in Mind! I agree, it’s quite an ingenious way to recycle filters. What I love about LH Originals is the fact that recycling can be made into an art, something that I can actually see hanging on my walls!

      Glad you enjoyed it and stop back soon. I’ll be posting some new and exciting articles soon.

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