Career & Education

Ariel's masterpieces

JN employee makes a business of his art

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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TWO years ago when Ariel Sinclair enrolled in a logistics management programme at the Excelsior Community College, not only did he obtain the qualification he needed, but also a grand idea that he would later turn into a successful microbusiness.

The operations support officer at the JN Bank Papine MoneyShop in St Andrew related that a class discussion about recycling led him to ponder what he could personally do to reduce waste.

“The first idea that came to mind was to recycle tyres to make seats or centre tables, as I had seen other people doing it, but the process would have been too time-consuming. Then I thought of upcycling wine bottles by finding a new use for them. I became more interested in this idea.”

Being artistically inclined, Sinclair decided to pursue creating exotic designs on discarded wine bottles.

“I did an orange chequered design on the first bottle. It took me about an hour to do but I didn't like it because it seemed so simple; but others liked it. I did another design and soon I was creating different designs and colours. Within four months, I had painted about 20 bottles, which I used for décor in my bathroom, kitchen and living room.”

Up to this point, Sinclair had not considered making a business out of his new hobby... not until his work colleagues, having seen pictures of his masterpieces on his cellphone, became interested and began to place orders.

Since painting the first bottle about two years ago, Sinclair has completed close to 200 bottles, 70 of which form part of his personal collection. Last Christmas he filled 40 special orders. He has also supplied bottles that have been used as centrepieces for weddings and parties.

“I do sets of three bottles, each with contrasting designs. Each set is sold for $1,500; however, people who wish to purchase a single bottle can get one for $700.”

Though declaring that any bottle can be used, he indicated that his preference is for wine bottles because of their shape. A friend who works at a popular Kingston restaurant and another who operates a party management business provide a constant supply of bottles.

On weekends Mason prepares the bottles for painting by soaking them in soap and water, then washing the interior and exterior with sand. After drying them thoroughly, he begins his designs, which usually reflect his mood at the time. He applies a sealant to create a glossy finish, which makes the bottles easy to dust and clean.

“Each bottle takes around five to 10 minutes to do when using a single colour, and those with designs take up to 20 minutes,” he said.

The Garvey Maceo graduate noted that black and gold finishes are his favourite designs as the colour combination is classy and elegant. He added that silver is a very challenging colour to work with because any other colour that is applied on it usually changes to a different shade.

“I really enjoy bottle painting. It is very relaxing and allows me to express my creativity,” he shared.

To view Sinclair's catalogue of designs, visit his social media handle on Instagram @Wine_Bottle_Art.

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