Upcycling Junk Mail into Art

By Carolyn Edlund

Sandhi Schimmel Gold has an amazing body of work. Her large collage portraits are intricate, striking and contain a secret ingredient – junk mail.

Eco-conscious and working in an energy efficient home studio, she reuses pieces of advertising, calendars, menus and greeting cards as elements in each design.  Sandhi states, “My pictures are made of thousands of incongruent pieces – images and texts.  Assembled like a mosaic, the tiles create an entirely new image – a portrait, a landscape, a fantasy – directly from my imagination, utilizing materials that would otherwise go to waste.”

Recycling becomes “upcycling” as these ingredients are put to a higher purpose than their original function.  Sandhi uses only water-based, acid-free non-toxic materials as she works.  She reuses and repurposes canvas and frames whenever possible. No equipment or machinery is involved – all her creations are painstakingly made by hand, and each piece can take several weeks to complete.

This summer, Translations Gallery will host a solo exhibition of her work.  A current show, including twenty of her large mosaics can be seen in Las Vegas at Springs Preserve, which runs through the middle of March.

Visit Sandhi Schimmel Gold’s website and her blog to view the vast collection of artwork she has created.


  1. Thanks, Carolyn!
    I have shows coming up in Arizona & California over the next few months…news and events will be posted on my site!

  2. Great! I am looking forward to checking them out at http://www.schimmelart.com.

  3. Thanks for introducing me to this artist. I enjoy her work, and what a great use for junk mail!

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