A passion that sticks

The art of duct tape


Taylor Confer / Legacy Media

Senior Christian Carr displays his piece of duct tape art which portrays the character “Mario,” one of many in his collection.

Nine-year-old Christian Carr was sprawled out on the floor in front of the TV set watching David Letterman. The show was coming to an end as the last guest made his appearance. Carr yawned and grabbed the remote; he had nearly changed the channel when he glanced up and was mesmerized. The guy had taken out rows of shining multi-colored trinkets and art–all made of duct tape.

“I thought, ‘I can do that’,” Carr said. “Then I went into the garage, grabbed a roll, and made my first wallet.”

Duct tape crafts and products can be found in small stores, created mainly by individuals like Carr. People can buy wallets, jewelry and even dresses made of duct tape, but Carr is not interested in making a profit.

“People tell me I should sell what I make, but I don’t like that,” Carr said. “When I started it, it wasn’t about the money, and I’d like it to never be. If someone appreciates my work, then I give it to them as a gift; I don’t need the money.”

Gifting comes naturally to him. Every Christmas for the last seven years, senior Christian Delos Reyes has received a duct tape gift from Carr.

“It’s really cool,” Delos Reyes said. “At first it was wallets, and then once we got to high school it graduated to really intricate portraits. It’s creative and different. I don’t know anyone else who does things like this.”

His art pieces range from pixelated stills of ‘Mario Kart’ to dramatic black-and-white portraits of Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

“Exploring multiple avenues of expression broadens the possibilities of expression and allows more of what the artist is trying to convey to be experienced,” senior Steven Tswei Davies said about using unconventional materials.

Though he has never taken an art class before, Carr finds that making his duct tape art comes naturally to him.

“Getting inspired is the most challenging part of the process,” Carr said. “Everything else is easy once I have that.”