Fynbos series

Repurposed materials:

  • old garden hose
  • used electrical wire
  • outdated computer cables
  • bicycle tires
  • coaxial wire
  • tubing
  • slide carousels
  • air hose
  • pots & pans
  • golf clubs
  • mini blinds
  • plastic bottle caps
  • light bulbs
  • light fixtures, etc.


My work is influenced by motifs found in nature, though it does not necessarily resemble any one species of plant, animal or insect. The Fynbos Series, is titled after the shrubland zone of the Western Cape region of South Africa and the exotic, spiky flower heads of the protea, a flowering bush found in that area. But then, the series is also inspired by common house plants and succulents sold in almost every local nursery near my Ohio studio.

The contradiction of ideas surrounding artwork inspired by nature, but created entirely with discarded materials left over from mass consumerism and industrial production, is intriguing to me. It’s something of a full circle story. Raw resources are extracted and harvested from the earth to manufacture solid goods and household wares and then those same items are disposed of by the community and scavenged by myself to create a vague essence of nature. I find the concept simultaneously disturbing and comforting. At once, an insult and a tribute to Mother Nature.

During her travels she has met artists in countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia and India, and has been inspired by their resourcefulness & ingenuity with found materials.

Elevating the Unimpressive

Stitzlein’s assemblages of mostly discarded materials propels the viewer to reassess that which is often overlooked. “As an artist and as a person, I ask myself to look closer, lest I miss the one exquisite trait in something oftentimes regarded as distasteful, old, tired, unimpressive or just plain ugly so that I may see it again with fresh eyes.”

Kurt Shaw writes, “If, as the Jungian psychoanalyst and poet Clarissa Pinkola Estes would have us believe, butterflies are “Soul Birds,” then Stitzlein sets the mind free to wonder not what junk is, but what it can be. “

Michelle Stitzlein, USA


Michelle’s art work is created with recycled materials and found objects. Items such as old garden hoses, electrical wire, computer cables, piano keys, mini blinds, china shards, license plates, and bottle caps are utilized to create imagery and abstractions born in her imagination. However, only purposeful study will reveal the individual identities of the hundreds of objects within each of her pieces. These objects, once assigned and confined to a certain function or task, find a new decorative incarnation within her work as color, texture and/or pattern. Through the process of cutting, dismantling and placement, she coaxes the multiple, disparate objects into unusual relationships and odd bedfellows to unite as a bold, visual whole.

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