Engineer by day and artist by night, Josh Stolberg creates incredible bottle cap art. Back in college he began to collect bottle caps for no apparent reason. Several years later he had amassed thousands of caps! He started tinkering with them and then one day he created a full suit of armour out of bottle caps. By December 2013 Josh Stolberg was making all of his Christmas presents out of bottle caps. Since then he has been busy making commissions, signs and gifts – all out of upcycled bottle caps.
We think this bottle cap art is awesome! From figurines, to signs, to flowers, the variety of bottle cap art that Josh creates for his small business CapWorks is incredible!
Josh says that he is inspired by whatever is around him. His favourite piece to date was a set of rams horn helmets that he made for himself and his wife. They wear them to basketball games at his alma mater, the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. He says that the horns were fairly difficult to make and required a ton of engineering. However the reactions they get when wearing them makes it all worth it.
In order to make his awesome bottle cap art, Josh first cleans the caps and sorts them according to colour. He then removes the liners. Depending on what he is making, he might flatten the bottle caps. Most pieces are constructed by cutting the caps and crimping them together. Larger pieces usually require a support or substructure (Josh tries to use upcycled or scrap materials for that too). A lot of trial and error or engineering are often required if it’s a new project he hasn’t attempted yet.
Josh likes working with bottle caps because they are easy to obtain and come in an amazing variety of colours and patterns. They are also the perfect thickness of metal to work with, as they aren’t too thin that they break easily, but also not too thick that they’re hard to manipulate. He gets his caps from friends and family and also from local breweries and restaurants.
Josh’s advice to aspiring upcyclers is to get your hands on something and start tinkering!
Potential upcycled media is free and easily available. Most of my work is done with basic hand tools you can get at any hardware store. You’ll be surprised what you can do if you think outside the box.