Have you ever been excited to receive a package in the mail, not just for the item you purchased but for the playful stuffing hiding inside? Oh, snap! That’s right, I’m talking about Bubble Wrap. Today, we’re exploring the joys of this universally beloved shipping buffer, discovering its unlikely creation, and meeting an artist who is transforming it into something equally as wonder-filled!

Few things in life are as wildly satisfying as snapping the little rows of pillowy air pockets on Bubble Wrap. But did you know that this mesmerizing material was created for a completely different purpose?

I’m going to take you on a field trip into the history of Bubble Wrap, and then we’ll journey back to modern-day to see how one artist is using it to create amazing works of… forgive the pun… pop art!

Sometimes we stumble upon the best innovations by accident…

Bubble Wrap was invented way back in 1957 by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes. It all began when they sealed two shower curtains together, creating a sheet of tiny air bubbles. The two men thought, “Eureka! this is going to make the best wallpaper.” Yeah, you read that right, wallpaper. Without any assistance from me, you can probably imagine why that didn’t sell very well.

A couple of years later, Field and Chavannes discovered the accidental genius behind their invention. With all of it’s small pockets of air, it was the perfect protective packaging! In fact, it was so good that it’s first mission was to protect IBM’s 1401, one of the world’s earliest mass-produced computers!

What else can Bubble Wrap be used for? Check this out!

While most of us will jump with both thumbs up at the chance to pop some Bubble Wrap, impressionist artist Bradley Hart cringes at the thought of it. To him, Bubble Wrap is precious because it is his canvas!

Using a bubbled sheet of air-sealed plastic that was originally intended to cover walls, he creates wall art of a whole new caliber! This video by Insider guides us through his process of creating remarkable works of art by injecting paint into each one of those joyous little bubbles. Watch to the end for the big dual-sided reveal—it’s astonishing!

Via: Insider 1

Thank you Insider for giving us a fresh perspective on the stuff we see around us! You can see more of their work on their Youtube channel.

Which side of the painting are you drawn to?

Bradley’s dedication to each painting is really a testament to his passion and his level of patience. Each piece is injected with pure creativity and takes three weeks to a month to complete!

If his work left your jaw on the floor like mine, follow him on Instagram to see more of his work.

Are there things around you that could be repurposed into art?

I’m happy to say that I’ve noticed more and more people getting creative when it comes to repurposing things. There is so much trash out there that could be turned into treasure with the right touch!

And if your project doesn’t turn out as planned, that’s ok! As we learned here today, even the most random of inventions, such as failed wallpaper, can bring timeless joy to millions of people.

So, dear friends, I challenge you to look at your surroundings and see what could be transformed. With a few tools, some paint, and your beautiful mind, the possibilities are endless!

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Keep dreaming and notice the beauty around you!

~Renee 

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Notes:

  1. Insider. “Artist Transforms Bubble Wrap into an Impressionist Painting.” YouTube, 25 Nov. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeFzpshBwwk. Accessed 20 May 2021.

Renee Laroche-Rheaume

Outreach Coordinator

Renee is a graduate of FIDM, and has held jobs in several industries such as apparel manufacturing, retail, professional office work, and even hospitality! Her creative outlook, wide variety of experiences, and desire to notice the beauty around us make her a great addition to the EWC team!