How did I start using laminate countertop in my work? When my mother-in-law was renovating her kitchen around 2006 or 2007, she gave me the chain of laminate samples she had used in choosing her countertop. At the time I didn't have any ideas about how I might incorporate them. It wasn't until 2009 that I realized I could use my circle cutter to punch out circles from the laminate - easily! And thus began the line of Counter Culture jewelry and so much experimenting: sawing, punching, riveting, charring of edges and laser cutting.
I have thousands of countertop samples - mostly little 2"x 3" sizes. For awhile I was getting larger pieces of laminate scraps from countertop/cabinet maker, but those weren't great - mostly neutral colors and patterns. I get the bulk of my samples from Zero Landfill Chicago events - when teachers and artists can go through and take mountains of discarded designer samples and supplies for free. Once, I did buy a couple dozen pieces of pristine vintage 50's laminate samples on ebay - I love them so much I am hesitant to use them.
What I appreciate most about the countertop is all the color possibilities. I still haven't plumbed the depths of what is possible with layering, gluing, and laser cutting new shapes to make production faster. Stay tuned for new designs!