You go to the store and you buy a pack. They come in all kinds of flavours and brands. You open the gum pack and take one out. The wrapper, usually a shade of aluminum but can be seen in all sorts of colours, gets crumpled up and tossed without even a slight bit of thought.
Unless you’re Jenell Diegor, that is. Miss Diegor, a Toronto-based author and filmmaker has found a way to save the little pieces of gum wrappers from hitting the garbage bin.
“I just save them up until I have enough to make a figurine of some sort,” said Miss Diegor. “I don’t plan on what to make beforehand, they just kind of shape themselves over time. The ideas get formed and my hands just do their thing.”
The artist holds a variety of figures ranging from a cat to a person on a treadmill to person on a swing and even a person dunking a ball on a basketball net. All made out of gum wrappers, without the use of tools such as scissors, glue or tape.
“Well, I was at work, at a club, and it was a slow night and I just put a piece of gum in my mouth. And instead of throwing the wrapper as per usual I started fidgeting with it until it created a small triangular figure, kind of like a dagger. I just kept doing them until my folds and bends eventually started to take the shape of people, items and scenery,” said Miss Diegor when asked how she started this unusual hobby.
“The people I worked with and the club patrons seemed to enjoy them so I kept making them, provided I have enough gum wrappers to do so. Some of them took a few minutes to make while others took hours. It all depends on if I have enough wrappers to make what I’m trying to make or if my strategy is working. If it doesn’t work I dismantle it and try again using a different strategy.”
Looking at the figurines, it’s hard to believe that they are made exclusively from gum wrappers. We asked Miss Diegor if she has a favourite creation. “Ah that’s a tough one because all of them are dear to me. But if I had to choose I guess I’ll have to go with the person on a scooter and the pole dancer doing a trick.”
Jenell Diegor’s creations can be seen on Instagram @gumwrapperart.