Archives for December 2011

Three of the Strangest Things Inspired By... Printer Ink Cartridges

On: Saturday, December 17, 2011

Note from editor: we have had one fun idea on reusing cartridges into a lamp. Now here a few more of creative examples of getting inspired with cartridges!

Almost everyone uses printer ink cartridges all the time, whether you’re at the office, at home, or constructing an elaborate set-up of dominos for your Rube Goldberg machine and ran out halfway through. In fact, they’re so omnipresent they almost seem invisible. I know I barely register them, even as I’m tossing out the old ones and slotting the new ones home.

Some people see differently though. Very differently. These three strange and wonderful things, in no particular order, are a tribute to that creative impulse that drives those strange and wonderful people to make things like...

Cartridge Lamps And Lightboxes

Used Ink Cartridge Lamps

Since some bright spark noticed that ink cartridges are translucent, images of these fun and creative decorations have suffused the internet. The wide range of bright colours that adorn the fronts of ink cartridges makes them pretty handy for home decorating, but what really sells them is how eco-friendly they are. Not only does the maker recycle old printer ink cartridges to make the lamps and lightboxes, but they also use very energy-efficient bulbs to generate the light.

Etsy is well-known for the, ahem, quirky charm of many of its products, so it’s not much of a surprise that the website that inspired the comedic parody site is responsible for these crafty little designs. What is surprising is how genuinely appealing the things look, although some might baulk at the price and decide they’d rather make some themselves.

What happened next?

The people behind boxlightbox on Etsy have since moved their online store to Lowell and Louise, but are staying on Etsy for now. Although their store is empty at the time of writing, it looks as though we might see more from them in the near future.

A Metalcore Band

Ink Cartridge Funeral

Yep, you heard right. Metalcore. The heavy metal sub-genre of metalcore has been deeply fashionable with a certain type of metal fan (the younger ones) for a few years now, and is distinguished from other metal genres by its melding of metal, hardcore punk, and post-hardcore influences.

The band certainly ticked all the right metalcore boxes, with quirkily aggressive song titles such as If Your Laugh Was Your Life, I’d Hate To Have Your Life, depressing and self-conscious song lyrics, and a promising deal with a record label. However, with a name like Ink Cartridge Funeral, you have to wonder if these guys were ever bound for success.

Their album is now out of print, but you can still listen to their tunes on and on their MySpace page.

Ink Cartridge Funeral didn’t use ink cartridges as inspiration for any of their songs – at least, not explicitly or directly – but their name will last forever as a footnote in the twinned histories of weird metalcore band names, and ink cartridges.

What happened next?

If your interest in Ink Cartridge Funeral and their music was piqued by any of those links, don’t worry – three of their members continue to play in internationally-touring post-hardcore band Silent Drive.

Sci-Fi Art

Sci-Fi Art
Sci-Fi Art

Printer ink cartridges already have a certain amount of geek credibility. When boxlightbox first posted their lamps on Etsy, it was the geeky tech blogs that were first to leap on the news. Artist Faith Pearson seized on this geek cred and took it up to eleven; she re-created a series of iconic sci-fi and pop cultural figures and landmarks using printer ink cartridges as her material.

Faith recreated scenes and props from such classics as Star Trek, Godzilla and King Kong. She also recreated a night out at the theatre, but don't worry; geeky superhero movie Kick Ass (more like ass kick) is playing on the screen, and the audience is made up of such comic book luminaries as the Incredible Hulk, the Joker, Penguin and oft-derided superhero Aquaman.

What happened next?

Faith Pearson lives in Birmingham, England, where among other things she helps kids to make toy theatres and giant dinosaurs. Whether this is a wise course of action is unknown – it depends, of course, on the type of dinosaur being created – but it is certainly a very cool course of action.

Patrick Robson is a freelance journalist and regular blogger. Patrick blogs for Cartridge Shop, an online provider of a wide range of printer cartridges from respected brands, such as Canon ink.