Crafty with cork

October 16th, 2013

Got a few basic tools? Hot glue gun, Xacto knife, and a good measure of crafty creativity? This site has loads of ideas that range from perhaps the world’s smallest indoor plant pot to cork bath mats and home decor details. Check it out and see if it sparks your own DIY craft project:


Engelhardt wins £10,000 Visitors Choice Award

October 11th, 2013

Conrad Engelhardt in front of his cork portrait of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The portrait won the £10,000 Visitors' Choice award at the 2013 Threadneedle Prize.As covered in our previous post, Conrad Engelhardt, was one of 95 finalists in the Threadneedle Prize — one of the UK’s largest art prize competitions. Last night, no one was more surprised (and delighted) than Conrad to learn that he was the recipient of the Visitors’ Choice Award – the result of ~15,000 votes.

In Conrad’s words: “I wanted to share the amazing news, that last night at the Mall Galleries I was stunned to learn that I had won the 2013 Visitors’ Choice Award for the Threadneedle Prize.  It was a surreal experience.  As the announcement was being made, the presenter said “I know the winner is here tonight” and as I heard that I thought that makes sense, that they would have contacted the winner to make sure they attended.  Then to watch him proceed to tear open an envelope, pull out a slip of paper, and say “the winner is Conrad Engelhardt,” it did not quite compute – I wasn’t even sure how they knew who I was.  It took me a moment before I was sure I heard correctly before I walked up to accept.  What an incredible experience and so happy for so many people to have seen my art over the past three weeks.  I was told somewhere around 15,000 people voted.

Thank you so much for those of you who voted and for those who didn’t, well you are off the hook.  On a serious note, thank you for your corks and your votes, as I wanted to share the amazing news.  You can enjoy a brief announcement of the award on their homepage.”

Cork portrait vies for £30,000 prize

September 24th, 2013

Conrad Engelhardt's portrait of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu KyiWine cork artist, Conrad Engelhardt, is one of 95 finalists in The Threadneedle Prize for painting & sculpture. The Prize provides experienced and emerging artists with the opportunity to showcase their work… and at £30,000, it is one of the largest art prizes in the UK.

Engelhardt’s submission is a diptych portrait of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The ‘mosaic’ cork tiles colour palette is the natural wine stain colours of the wine they bottled.

We featured Conrad Engelhardt’s work in our earlier post: Conrad’s interest in cork is apparently matched by his interest in great women.

See more of Engelhardt’s work at and read more about The Treadneedle Prize.

Houzz lists 18 great cork ideas

May 15th, 2013
Eclectic Kitchen Tile by Aptos Tile Stone And Countertop Modwalls

The great house design resource site — just posted this great collection of 18 cork products that range from crafty to chic and functional to fanciful. Several utilize recycled wine stoppers and one includes the cork ’tile’ application we would like to manufacture here in Vancouver. Check it out. I’m sure you’ll see something that will pique your interest. Then you can follow the link to the source.


Pointillism alive and well in London

May 7th, 2013

50th year tribute to marilyn monroe created from wine corksThe neo-impressionists may have used paint, but Conrad Engelhardt prefers wine corks as his medium. His recent works in The Other Art Fair — billed as London’s leading artist-led fair — included pieces such as his 50th year tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

Conrad’s colour palette is comprised exclusively of the natural colours imparted to the cork by the wines. The resulting artworks range in colour from deep burgundies to soft, warm hi-lites. Combine those colours with nudes — one of his favourite subjects — and you’ll understand the inspiration for show titles such as “Full Bodied: An Art Tasting” at the Hoxton Gallery At the Arch in January, 2013.

For more information on the artist, please visit his website:

The Dutch Put a Cork In It!

March 22nd, 2013

We’re not talking about leaky dikes. Lukas van Eeden and Sebastiaan Herbschleb, two young entrepreneurs in Amstardam are launching the Netherlands Put A Cork In It wine cork recycling program. We are sharing our program branding and they are coordinating the Dutch translations and production of the counter-top collection containers. As soon as that is ready they will recruit Amsterdam restaurants that are interested in participating. They’ve started a Facebook page to keep you updated on their progress in the Netherlands.

We will share our insights on communicating the benefits to participants and the public as well as potential up-cycling of the corks and the best transportation logistics based on our 3 years experience.

I love Amsterdam, so now have one more great reason to plan a visit. Dank u veel!

We Welcome Orofino Vineyards!

March 22nd, 2013

courtyard of orofino vineyards in oliver bc, a new participant in the put a cork in it cork recycling programIt should be no surprise that Orofino Vineyards in Cawston, BC was eager to participate in our wine cork recycling program. Founders, John and Virginia Weber are no new-comers to ‘walking the talk’. Visit their vineyards and you may spot evidence of their commitment to sustainability such as their rooftop solar PV and solar water-heating panels atop their straw bale winery building. The 21-inch thick walls provide an R-60 insulation rating — 5 times higher than code requirements.

Aside from their commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable practices, they also make some damn fine wines. You owe it to yourself to sample a few. Details are available on their website:

Welcome aboard Put A Cork In It!

21,000 corks shipped to Industrial Design at ECU

October 4th, 2012

This September, in collaboration with Cork It, we shipped 16.7 cubic feet of corks to Emily Carr University for use in their industrial design faculty’s “New Wood Materials” class. We’re hoping that all the bright young minds in ECU’s Industrial Design program will develop products and processes that allow us to reprocess our recycled corks right here in Vancouver.

The 16.7 cubic feet we provided weighed 92 kg (203 lb) which represented ~21,000 corks. Processing corks here, rather than transporting them to Jelinek in Ontario, is more cost effective and will avoid the emissions resulting from their transport over 4,338 km (2,695 miles). According to the Texas Transportation Institute, shipping this weight over that distance by transport truck would result in 386 pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions —almost twice the weight of the goods being shipped!

So we should not only think about shopping locally, we should also think about recycling locally!

Let’s see what ECU’s best and brightest come up with. We’ll keep you informed.

42′ long cork mural by Albanian artist

June 11th, 2012

Combine talent with 230,000 corks and 28 fourteen-hour days and what do you get? How about a 22′ x 42′ wall mural that pays homage to life in the Mediterranean. Artist Saimir Strati’s art has earned him the title “Master of Mosaics” and also found him a place in the Guinness Records. More photos and detail on


2012 London pavillion lined with cork

May 8th, 2012

The plans for the Serpentine Gallery’s twelfth summer pavilion designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei have been revealed.

The team have performed an archaeological dig, five-meters deep, and used the shapes of items found in the earth to dictate the form of the hollow build. The complex ground shape is to be cut with cork, because of its natural and versatile qualities.

A floating platform roof, which will be raised about waist-high above the ground will collect rain water to reflect the skies. It can also be drained “like a bath tub” so that dance performances to take place on the roof.

Read the complete story in The Telegraph.