Posted by Terry Hammer on 2/12/2019 to News
Chicago Artist Derek Christensen needs vintage license plates...
Participating in art fairs in the summertime, and armed with just a Facebook page and no website, Derek Christensen’s Reclaimed Creations has made a splash in the arts & crafts community. Derek creates one of a kind artwork using reclaimed materials and real vintage license plates from ShopLicensePlates. Last year, he took first place in the category of 2D mixed-media at the Fountain Square Artisan Summerfest in Evanston, Illinois. His full-time job is teaching high school geography at Plainfield South High School in Chicago.
Old license plates pave the way for reclaimed creations
Derek’s journey as an artist has been a crazy one, at least to him anyway. In fact, this is a part-time gig for him. One of his friends, a fellow teacher, invited him to hang out one day. He was admiring a US flag piece that his friend had hanging in his garage. It was made from real old Illinois license plates. Derek remembered thinking that it was really cool, but also he was thinking, hey, I can do something like that! Having just moved into a new place, Derek wanted something unique to hang on his wall. So he set out to make a Chicago Blackhawks logo out of antique license plates. He had never envisioned making anything else. But then a friend of his from Detroit asked if he could make him a Red Wings piece using authentic old license plates. He thought, sure, why not? Before Derek knew it, he had more friends asking him to make pieces for them too. Then they told two friends. And so on and so on.
Expired license plates transform into arts & crafts
Everything that Derek makes is 100% handmade from real, used and expired license plates. In fact, he still cuts every single license plate by hand with tin snips (if you saw his hands, you’d see that he is telling the truth). Derek takes pride in the fact that all of his work is made from reclaimed materials. He can turn things that many might view as junk into something that someone wants to hang on their wall. Perhaps it is the history major in Derek, but he feels that his work is helping to preserve the past to a small degree. When Derek is not teaching or creating art, he enjoys traveling, playing hockey once a week at Johnny’s Ice House and volunteering with animal rescue groups. Derek a proud graduate of Western Michigan University and The University of Chicago (Go Broncos and Maroons!) and resides in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.
20K genuine, used & expired license plates available at Shop License Plates!
ShopLicensePlates is pleased to supply Derek with old license plates for his projects. Since 2003, we’ve been a leading purveyor and trusted source of genuine license plates to collectors and artists of all kinds. With almost 20,000 decorative, real and authentic old license plates available from the US, Canada, Mexico, Island Nations, Other Countries and in bulk, we’re sure to supply Derek and other Artists for years to come.