Bottle Caps / What’s The Next Step?

October 12, 2013 § Leave a comment


So here’s what I’ve got: 30 different bottle caps, all unique in their own way, now I’ve got to think about what I’m going to do with them. From the two seminars, one with Margot Swift, the other with Joe Gilmore, I managed to pull together a few ideas and routes I could possibly explore. I began brainstorming what I could possibly do with the collection, based on the notes taken from the seminars, the mind map is rather full and messy, so I’ve also written out in list form it’s contents, in a more structured manner, allowing for easier readability:



– Photography / film / animation

>>> animating them

>>> stop motion – shape. Look at Brothers Quay, and Jan Svankmajer

>>> present them via an animated medium – morphing?

>>> create each bottle cap as a button in flash?

– Product design

>>> look at how bottle caps are used: mirrors, tables, chairs etc.

– Manipulation

>>> digitally manipulate them: slice them up, overlay them

>>> glitch

– Combining anatomy

>>> eyes

>>> finger print

>>> faces

>>> giving a form of identity to each cap

– Texture

>>> scratches

>>> dents

>>> brushed steel/print

>>> the zig-zag edge/lip on the bottle caps

– Illutrating

>>> draw around them

>>> draw within them

>>> draw on them (digitally)

>>> brand representation?

– Combining other materials

>>> wood? plastic?

– Abstract

>>> sound – possibly create a sound board, the noise from each cap?

– Shape

>>> compose them in to different shapes – possible type face?

// Layout / order / form / composition

– Compose them in 4s (try other numbers maybe), compare & contrast them, with colour, type, graphic, give a sort of dialogue to them

– grid layouts

– spacing of bottle caps

– order them by:

>>> colour – show a palette of the colours used? Look at pop art

>>> my favorites

>>> complexity

>>> image and typography

>>> Quantity of each bottle cap (this would exceed 30, but add visual statistical data)

>>> Quality of product

>>> Taste of product

>>> Popularity of product


>>> who, what, when, where, why?

>>> Narrative for design?


They are bottle caps from various bottled drinks, predominantly alcoholic drinks, with a few soft drinks also.


I originally collected them because I worked in a bar for a while, and decided I’d collect them for something (at the time I had nothing planned), because I thought I could make use of them at some point. As it turns out, this project is that something it’s been building up to. I’m yet to discover what to do with them however, preferably I want to relate them to my practice.

My points of interest with the bottle caps is there brand identity, the graphic that can be found on them, the colours designated to them, the typography used, all ultimately giving the bottle cap character, that’s what I like about them, their character.

Why these particular 30? – because they are all different from one an another.

What’s the point? – I’m yet to figure that out, but points to consider are:

          1) tell something new from my work and research

          2) be communicative and inform the viewer

          3) what is the common theme that’s underpinning it


The bottle caps came from Shipley Club, a working mans bowls club, of which I worked at. I collected them from the bottle cap collection after each shift.


The majority of the collection was collected between April 2012 until the Summer of 2012, as this is when I stopped working there. I have however been adding my own bottle caps from home, but this is a slow process as neither me or my family drink that much alcohol other than on special occasions, so I intermittently add the collection.


>>> Chinese characters?

>>> compare bottle caps from Hong Kong

>>> theme?

What’s the next step?

So far I’ve only collected the bottle caps, and brainstormed ideas, I’ve also done a little research into other collections. My next step is to do some further research into collections and artists work, possibly research some of the history behind bottle caps, and experiment with the caps, deciding which direction to follow, then further developing this. I need to consider all aspects to this brief, and all aspects of the bottle caps. I need to think about what I want to get out of this project, is there going to be a message? if so, what will it be? I also need to start thinking about what I want to produce as the end product – a reproduction of them? An interactive piece? An animation? Maybe design my own bottle caps?

Caps grid-ordered by colour


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