Moorestown Creates will demonstrate how to make “plarn” objects – yarn made from recyclable plastic bags – at its Daffodil Day on April 23.
Folk artist Mary May will weave a large coil-shaped basket using plastic bags and teach residents how to prepare and weave plastics together. The yarn project, led by Moorestown’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the Perkins Center for the Arts – both members of Moorestown Creates – coordinates with Mayor Nicole Gillespie’s “Year of the Environment” initiative.
Back in January, the mayor announced Moorestown would focus on different environmental themes for 2022, including prioritizing sustainable energy use, reducing single-use plastics, tackling sustainable food and addressing clean air.
“It happens to be that Daffodil Day, that is the quarter for plastics, so we wanted to do some upcycling of plastic,” said Tracie Muir, art instructor at the rec department. “Because Daffodil Day is about artisans coming out and showing what they do and how they do it, and demonstrating in front of the community …
“We wanted to take that full circle and make this something that the community could be involved in.”
May’s woven basket will have a surprise shape to it and will be displayed by the township.
“We’re going to have a call-out to the community to bring in these plastic bags or the plarn or both, and then they can come and they can actually add to the sculpture themselves,” Muir explained.
Perkins’ Director of Education Allison Hunt noted what residents can expect from making plarn objects.
“We’re going to be cutting them (plastic bags) and kind of twisting them in a way so that we can use them to be woven with, and kind of really changing how the plastic is constructed, so it goes from something flimsy and thin to something that’s more stable,” she said. “Once it’s woven tightly, it’ll be kind of hard and also impermeable.”
Moorestown Creates, a subcommittee of Sustainable Moorestown, increases awareness about the quality and caliber of artists who specialize in different township genres. While there several members of Moorestown Creates, Hunt and Muir explained the connections among the committee, Perkins and the rec department.
“We’re one organization involved with Moorestown Creates, and like everyone else in that group, we’re just trying to promote the arts in Moorestown and really showcase all the talent, the artistry, that exists here in town,” Hunt said.
“Moorestown Creates is there to bring together all of the entities within Moorestown to show the arts,” Muir said. “We are an artistic community … Moorestown Creates is one that wants to bring people together and show our unity through the arts.”
“There’s artists in town, there’s people who love to collect art, there’s gallery owner(s) in town, so that’s something you don’t hear too much about with our town,” Muir noted.
She and Hunt both addressed what they look forward to with the project.
“We have things in the community – such as Parks and Recreation, the Perkins Center (and) Moorestown Creates – all of these wonderful programs and opportunities for people to express themselves and to enjoy the town,” Muir said.
“I think that this will hopefully make (people) aware that we’re all a community and we want everybody to enjoy it and appreciate it for years to come.”
“I think Mary is really going to transform the material in a way that’s going to show people that it doesn’t have to be an ugly thing,” Hunt offered.
To learn more about Moorestown Creates, visit moorestowncreates.org.