Upcycle Innervation

Introducing the world of re-purposing material and creating a product of quality

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Ground-Score Sculptures II

Jody Stein has done it again, creating intricate, one of  a kind, masterful “Ground Score Sculptures.” Her latest series, positioned as an army of art below, are created and erected  from discarded scrape metal fragments, pencil reminisce and plastic pieces that once were the innards of some random technological device.  Recently, Stein expended her art studio, which inspired these new creations. I am the lucky one, getting to feast my eyes on these treasures first hand and then getting to share with you the fruits of Steins artist design.

Within each piece of media that  “Ground Score Sculptures” are created from, tell a cycle of stories. Some how this media has become part of Steins’ sculptures and  what she artistically does is retell the story. Her fingers are nimble and skilled at fine detailed work. Creating miniature works of art, she is often designing with tiny fragments and slivers of media.

Each sculpture uniquely joins, symmetry, balance, design and color, creating something of wonder. I have often ask Jody how she knows pieces of media will fit as through they were one . Her answer, “the pieces talk to me, I just know.” What impresses me most is the physical balance she creates in each sculpture.

Pictures do not do Jody Stein’s ground score sculptures justice.  They are meant to be experienced up close, at eye level. Having both a front and back side to each sculpture, viewing the circumference, demonstrates the intricacy  and  detailing Stein has captured in each, one of a kind piece.

I must add the Jody in her own way is contributing to a microcosm of sustainability and up cycling, taking something ( discards from our daily lives) and creating something of quality and value.

Email Jody at








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Railroad Spikes Re-Hooked

This weeks up-cycle piece was inspired by a few field trip outings I embarked on last year. I was taking a walking adventure along the new SMART rail train project still in construction behind Aroma Roasters.  While exploring I found several old railroad spikes laying in the rubble. They must have been pulled from the old track when the new construction began. On a few occasions after my discovery I stopped a worker to inquire and got very little information. On the day I found the spikes I used for this project, there were several more lying around. In my heart i left them hopping someone else would find one and be inspired like myself.

Discovering the spikes gave me the idea of a coat rack designed specifically for the  wall. Combination art piece and utility installation. On a field trip to Goat Rock beach off  Highway 1 in California, I found a mound of drift wood. It was impressively large, wish I had a photo for you.  For the next hour I search for the right piece. At the time I was looking for ascetics not practicality, something that I would later wish I had looked for  because, even though my end project was interesting and beautiful, it was middle  heavy. I choose the final piece because the spikes would evenly fit, with a good distance from each-other, however, it was like I mentioned before, a little to mid heavy and difficult to hang. I am still searching for the right hook to attach my rack, one that is not so large that it will take away from the ascetics.

The final piece still makes me proud and brings a smile to my face. There is a story in those spikes somewhere. Thousands of miles of train cars have rolled over them, bringing a story within it self. That is the joy of up cycling. Recreating with recycled media, one is giving new life to an old object. Every thing has a story that should keep on sharing, instead of landing in our Mountain Range Dumps.








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Pallet to Play Fort

When I put a call out to my community, about my blog, Upcycle-Innervation starting up, I told everyone I was searching for up cycled projects, completed or in the proscess of completion, to show case. My friends Scott and Sorel jumped at the opportunity. And I could see why instantly, when I went over to their house to take picture of their project. My first reaction was WOW, this is incredible and ingenious.

Scott has designed and constructed a play fort for his 2 boys, built from the frame of an old doll house and re-used wooden pallets. While in its finishing stage, one can see the quality and love for the project. Painstakingly, with hours of patients, Scott had cut, sized, sanded and fine fit ever piece of wood, including that which will become the outer walls of the fort. Made to mimic a castle fort, Scott hand carved/tooled the Pinnical watch tower which is flanked by two watch towers. Each tower is adorned with crow stepped gables that encircle their top platform. Stairways leading from each story, has been hand carved and micro fitted to perfect size. Each corner has the feel and look of a traditional wood fort ( see photos below). Landing between each tower, allow the boys ample space to play out any fantasy their hearts desire.

Pictures below, demonstrate the craftsmanship and skill Scott has put in to this project for his boy’s. This will be a treasured, loved and well played with toy for years to come. And the memories that will be built by helping dad build this fort and years of playing with it, will be priceless.

Extra bonus is Scott used reused materials, which cut down the price for a fort of this size and quality. The environment thanks him.

Being in the last stages of completion, I will showcase the final project when completed with anticipation.

Statistics vary regarding just how many million wood pallets now reside in landfills. Some estimates claim that as many as 200 million wood pallets are thrown into U.S. landfill facilities every year. Of those that find their way to the dump, over half were used only once before they were discarded. If ever there was a poster child for conspicuous waste, the wood pallet is it.











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Belt Buckles ” wear-able art”

This week I’m more showing off, than show casing an Up-cycling project. Over the last few years, I’ve been creating belt buckles, each unique, do to the media used to design the front facade.  Never knowing what the end product will be, each piece is unique, making it “wearable art.” Catering to the lover of uniformity, abstract and relief designs, these buckles are sparkly, matte, metal cold and swede, just to descried a few directions my designs take. My studio is over flowing with media of all sorts, like batches of buttons, watch parts, keys to doors that no longer exist or made for that matter and costume jewelry, just to rattle off a few media sources. One of my favorite places to hunt media is at Pick-in Pull junk yards, especially for car emblems and shattered windshields. It is amazing the relief deigns the shards of tempered glass creates. Never at a loss for media, since I use material that would once have been on a one way trip to our ever-growing mountain ranges called Land Fills.

Granted, my canvas, being belt buckle blanks that I purchased new, makes my designs not completely 100% up-cycled. But I have found it difficult to find reused or thrift store buckles. Having spent many hours searching the second-hand nooks and crannies of Sonoma Co., I am left to believe that fashionistas, like myself , hold on to old buckels. Many times we buy them as a personal character purchase, at least I do.

I have selected for this blog a few simple designs created from, computer parts, shoelaces, leather stripes, junked beaded curtains (gold stars), metal used to insulate a car carburetor, sequins and fabric. They all reflect a colorful, fun, sparkly theme. I like to create streams of one of a kind, similar design themes. Custom designs are a specialty. Many friends have brought personal trinkets that they wanted to re-create into something new, different and wearable, makes for a fantastical story, wrapped in sentiment.

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Ground Score Sculptures

As Jody Stein,

travels the paths of daily life, she keeps one eye forward and one eye to the ground constantly scanning for treasures. Treasures in the form of trinkets and street debris, that if they could talk would tell a story. These treasure become re-storyed in Steins miniature sculptures  On the many occasions I have walked with Jody and she  finds a “Ground Score” , her reaction is priceless, as she asses the artist possibility in that object. Her “Ground Score,” a phrase she coined when referring to sculpture media finds, will be mixed in to her amassed collection of objects. They sit in assorted size bowls, and platters, looking much like the painters pallet in a studio, waiting for Stein’s creative and ingenious hand to recreate their story.

Stein is drawn to the possibility and potential  in ground score finds like, a sliver of colored plastic or a metal fuse that once acted as a residual current device. Now through the  steady and creative hand of  Stein, the current is recreated in a ripple effect of artistry and creativity valued in up-cycling.

Cleverly, one can see in these photos, that compare  Stein’s sculptures to a classic penny, the unique and delicate size of her creations. When fashioning and constructing her ground scores, Jody say’s the pieces talk to her. “Intuitively I know the particular placement that will balance and anchor the sculpture.” One can not survey and study these sculptures without amazement to detail. As if each piece was meant for the other, like a puzzle.

For more information, contact Jody Stein at


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Ground Score Sculptures