The ALCHEMIST and master craftsman in plastic presents up-cycling at its best and demonstrates how waste can transform into real luxury

© felixfriedmannphotography

‘Transmutation 1’, chandelier, clear, 2011,
ca. 800 reclaimed PET (plastic) bottles, Aluminium construction, 16 arms and 16 light bulbs, handcrafted,
diameter: 140cm , H: 150cm,
Edition: 3 of 3

The chandeliers are constructed from hundreds of plastic bottles meticulously selected, cut and reassembled as an exceptional object. From afar it appears as a crystal chandelier, but the result of a closer look reveals another origin and shifts our preconceptions about the value of materials. The piece is a result of Jeannot’s six-year-long research into the PET material and its characters and origins within the trash system in Mexico City. It was handcrafted over a period of a few months.

For Thierry his work has often also a social aspect. He incorporates local disadvantaged people within Mexico City in teaching them to find the right type of bottles and rescue them from trash and in incorporating them in various aspects within the construction process.

© felixfriedmannphotography

THIERRY JEANNOT, Detail of ‘Transmutation 1’ chandelier

‘Transmutation 1’ at dawn in Mexico City

© felixfriedmannphotography

‘Green Transmutation’, Chandelier , 2010
Ca. 500 reclaimed PET plastic bottles, coloured green,
Aluminium construction,
8 arms, 8 bulbs, handcrafted
diameter: 100cm, H: 100cm
Unique piece



I orient my work towards researching new ways of constructing and designing. What we call re-purposing and recycling came to me as new possibilities and I definitely wanted to use them in a new way as one uses any other conventional technique.

I observed PET bottles containing liquids, nicely organized in a store, and then those same transparent containers discarded on the floor or accumulated in the trash right in front of my studio in the old downtown of Mexico City. My first decision was to use them as if they were crystal and transform them into an iconic lighting design: a chandelier. By involving people from my neighborhood, the question of supply was naturally resolved, recycling those bottles just before the trash process and being able to do the strong selection I needed. This was my experience when designing Transmutation 1 and Green Transmutation in which I question symbols of luxury as well as the preconception and value of materials.

For MORNING STAR, my coffee table project, I wanted to work with accumulations, re-purposed materials and ornamental elements that I had already employed when working on my chandeliers. One of the techniques I employ is fire and heat applied to plastic parts in order to increase the “crystal” effect. The inclusion of bronze confronts the traditional way of casting metals with all my experiments with melted, heated, dyed and deformed recycled plastics. Once again using fire, I burned metals and wood and then covered them with silver and gold leaf. I decided to maintain a strong connection to history and the decorative arts but also wanted to question luxury and classicism and create a paradox in the way I use materials.

‘Transmutation 1’ chandelier, edition 1 of 3, @ Private Collector’s apartment, Mexico City


‘Transmutation 1’ chandelier, edition 1 of 3, @ Rethinking Traditions Exhibition Washington DC