Inspiring Found-Object Art by Jane Perkins

At Catalyst Ranch, Chicago’s first unconventional meeting venue, we love re-purposed art and furniture! Stroll around the Ranch and you’ll see classic lamp stands with modern lampshades, tea tins from around the globe that have turned into pen holders, and re-painted picture frames embellished with beads and trinkets. There is plenty of vintage furniture that has been given new life with fresh upholstery and one-of-a-kind throw pillows. Our creative staff created Ranch Wares, a line of desk accouterments and office accessories found and lovingly turned into clever paper clip holders, pen cups, and more.

Ranch Wares

The Ranch is a place where creativity is cultivated and celebrated. We love mixing the old with the new to create unique décor you won’t find anywhere else. When we came across U.K. artist, Jane Perkins, we were thrilled by her whimsical use of unexpected materials to create incredibly detailed and imaginative work.

Girl with a Pearl Earring, after Vermeer (VIII), Angel of Annunciation, Afghan Girl from National Geographic

Peacock Made in ChinaPeacock-Made-in-China

After seventeen years as a nurse and ten years as a full-time mother, Ms. Perkins decided to explore her creative potential and earned a Textiles degree, writing her thesis on Art and Design from Recycled Materials. She started on a small scale, making very personalized “memory brooches” for her clients, using the “clients’ own collected bits and pieces; odd earrings, broken jewelry or childhood treasures which could no longer be used but which the owner could not bear to throw away.”

Marilyn, after Warhol


Eventually Ms. Perkins began creating larger projects like her recent collection, Plastic Classics. In this series, Ms. Perkins recreates famous paintings utilizing found objects. As with pointillism, from far away, you see a complete image, but look closely and you’ll see the diversity of materials used – buttons, beads, kitchen utensils, and small toys. Can you find the plastic puppy?

Learn about Jane Perkins and her work here!
What artists inspire you? Share artists and links in the comments!