MY BROKEN RECORD: UPCYCLING VINYL RECORDS INTO EVERYDAY OBJECTS
A qualified interior architect, a lover of all things music and a passion for diverting waste from landfill, Shannon Musson is the founder and creator behind My Broken Record. Using a low impact drilling process, Shannon cuts vinyls into anything from clocks and wall art to jewellery and homewares. All her products are inspired by the things she loves, and hand crafted from her home in Brisbane, Australia.
When I first came across My Broken Record at the Green Heart Fair, I immediately fell in love with Shannon’s positive impact. Her wall art designs were the perfect upcycled gift for my younger sister, who is both a huge fan on Star Wars and heavy metal music.
What made you want to go off the beaten path and make your own products?
I am a qualified interior architect, so I have always been interested in creating, whether that's spaces, items or feelings - it's just something I have always done. My brain works around the clock and I always have new ideas popping in at random times.
What made you so passionate about upcycling, the environment and creating art?
I started realising how many items were ending up in landfill, especially the ones which were once very special to someone. It just seemed like a complete waste, and if I can find a way to avoid those items heading to the dump, then I will - that's what My Broken Record is all about!
What inspired you to start My Broken Record?
Unfortunately, I had an uncle tragically killed, and while I was sorting through his possessions, I came across a collection of about 1000 vinyl records. Most of them were damaged and scratched, but I didn't like the idea of them going to landfill. My father told me how people used to make bowls by heating records in the sun, and so I started playing around with moulding and cutting them once they softened. The process has now evolved to being machine cut, but it took me about two years to get to this point.
What are some of the impacts vinyls can have on the environment during the making process and once disposed of?
Vinyl records are made from PVC, which is a highly toxic and carcinogenic product when melted. Laser cutting vinyl records is a huge mistake and can damage the environment immensely. I use a drill instead, and once the designs are cut, the larger off-cuts get put aside and the smaller pieces get upcycled into items such as jewellery. There's a very small amount of waste that is created with this process!
How are the vinyls cut and where do you get your inspiration for the designs?
I use a small desktop CNC router (a drill bit) to cut the designs and then spend a lot of time filing all the exposed edges until they're smooth. The vinyls are then washed in cool soapy water and left until they are dry. I get my inspiration from the things I love, such as the musicians and bands that I enjoy. Several pieces are also inspired by my family, including my dad on his motocross bike and my two lovely daughters in the sister's design.