Nature-Inspired Sculptures, Made From Recycled Materials

Kate Kato
Kate Kato / Kate Kato

UK-based artist Kate Kato makes tiny, life-sized sculptures of insects, plants, and fungi from old books and other recycled materials. She works mostly with paper and textiles, adding color or detail using paints, embroidery, and metal wire. Then, she displays the delicate models in small collections or dioramas.

Kato says her work is inspired by a lifelong love of nature. She grew up in Bristol, England, and now lives in the Welsh countryside. "As a child I spent a lot of time collecting bits and pieces in tins or boxes, which I would take with me on walks through parks or countryside,” she explains in an artist’s statement. “This has had a huge influence on my work, along with my love of botanical illustrations, the natural sciences and the nostalgia of museum visits where, as a child, I would be mesmerized by the variety of exhibits and the way they were displayed. I tend to view my work as a 3D record of my knowledge and experiences of the natural world.”

Kato’s work has been exhibited both domestically and abroad; last fall, her work was showcased at the Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp, Washington. (You can also find her on Etsy.) View some of her sculptures and check out a video of her creative process below.

Photos courtesy of Kate Kato.