In my dealings with people who collect tabs for art's and crafts, I never knew how to actually make anything out of them, sure I saw lots of pictures, but never understood the basics of actually linking them, nor did I understand the language of the hobby. It was like being the only coin collector in a room full of people who collected Ming Dynasty Vases.
When I moved to Iowa to care for my parents in 2011, I still had a few thousand tabs left over from my Cub Scout collection program in Michigan which had gotten packed by mistake, and forgotten. I was sitting around bored in a state where I knew only two people, my parents, and pulled out a bag at a Perkin's, and started tinkering around with a set of nail clippers.
It took me about an hour, and I wrecked 200 Type III silver tabs before I figured out one of the many tab craft method's known as "chain chunk", also half the customers in the restaurant thought I had clipped over 200 finger nails.
About two hours later, my first creation was complete, a simple 36 inch necklace made of 200 Type III silver tabs.
One of the waitresses on duty suggested that I make them and sell them, but at 2 hours per necklace, I could not see getting much money out of it, and getting enough Type III's presented problems in a state where I did not know anybody (The type I silver tab does not really work out that well for necklaces, not flexible enough).
A year and a half later, I have created a few other necklaces, with colors, and different methods, but still, the idea of making them for profit is not feasible, the necklace on the right represents almost $400 in beer (no not all by me), and the necklace in the center, would be about $500 in beer, and took me 23.4 million tabs to get enough black tabs to make it.
I like going overboard, so I figured if I was going to make anything, it had to be something completely new, and untried. I got the idea of making an actual building out of them. Nobody knew what I meant. So I built a 1/5th Scale model.
People still did not get the picture, so I created this You Tube Video.
well, even after that video, people still did not understand what I was doing, so I started the full scale version in my dad's driveway, and made a second video.
Aluminium Cathedral II
As I said, I tend to go overboard, the "Aluminium Cathedral", is actually going to be 4 of those 7 foot tall 10 by 10 foot buildings from the second video, and then a 15 foot by 15 foot by 7.5 foot building will go on top of the first 4 buildings, a total 3,000,000 tabs. b But I still have to get the first one (1,002,000 tabs) done first, I am currently at 612,222 completed, looking at about 4,000 more hours work.
People have asked why I call it the Aluminium Cathedral? Well, amoung all the other things in my life, I am now an Ordained Bishop in the Humanitarian Assembly, and when it is completed, it shall be sanctified, and I hope the first wedding I perform in it shall be my son's, as he is the one who got me started on recycling in the first place.
UPDATE...Over 6,100 hours work into this, it was originally supposed to be 8 by 8, then it became 10 by 10, then 12 by 12, then 14 by 14, now 15 by 15.The problem is, that when I started this 4 1/2 years ago, I never thought I would still be working by myself, and could not find a sponsor. I am in Iowa, nobody donates to anything, the only thing they really care about in Iowa is the Caucus's. Making a building out of tabs means nothing I need is on the shelf at Wal-Mart. I need to build a frame that will hold 1/3 of ton in tabs, thousands of hooks to hold these chains, and a seamstress to make me a roof, then it needs to go to the Iowa State Fair, to serve as a collection point for McDonalds House Charities, nobody gets into the Iowa State Fair for free, not the scouts, not the church, there is no way to fully explain how cold and uncaring they are. Plain and simple, to get this thing from being a bunch of boxes of chains to being an actual building at the Iowa State Fair is $3,000.
No, I am not going to ask you to donate $3,000, what I am looking for is 300 people willing to support my three causes, 1) McDonalds House Charities 2) Feeding the Homeless, and 3) Raising the Aluminium Cathedral. Your donation of $30 can do this. It puts 1 family in the house 1 night, it feeds 4 homeless people, and leaves $10 towards my building. Once completed and on display, it will generate it's own revenue at the fair continue my work in RMDH and feeding the homeless, as well as paying for a fair grounds spot the following year. Your name and address will be given to RMDH and they will send you thier support magazine which lists all donars. Cant afford $30? hey, even a buck is a bit closer. I appreciate any donation I can get, I want to see this finished. And wouldn't it be nice to help out 300 families and provide 1,200 meals along the way?