Crowdfunding: sculpting plastic from the ocean

Plastic Ocean
Chrystal Rimmer – Crowdfunding Micro-Plastic Ocean Research

We are delighted that Australian artist Chrystal Rimmer decided to run her crowdfunding campaign with ReadyFundGo.

Chrystal works with recycled plastic she collects from beaches, fields and forests. She creates beautiful sculptures as representations of natural forms that draw attention to the climate and ecological crisis we are facing today.

Plastic is the most abundant type of marine litter and it is found in all of the world’s oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human activities.

Chrystal has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to join a research exhibition with Sail Britain to investigate the ecological impact of ocean micro-plastics and is using reward based crowdfunding to help fund her research trip. The voyage is hosted by marine scientist and National Geographic explorer Freija Mendrik.

National Geographic explorer Freija Mendrik

If you are passionate about the oceans and the issue of micro-plastics you can pledge to her campaign in return for a piece of her beautiful art-work.

We are lucky enough that Chrystal had the time before her voyage and World Ocean Day to interview with us.

Ocean plastic research

So what did Chrystal have to say?

How did you come up with the idea for of sculpting plastic from the ocean?  

I’ve always been interested in depicting the landscape through art. Throughout my art practice I  studied the Australian landscape closely, it became strikingly obvious that plastic was a defining  feature. Rather than lamenting this I felt obliged, and still do, to do something about it.  

I spent many hours collecting plastic waste from forests, paddocks, gullies, marshes and scrub to  experiment with in the studio. After two years of experimentation I found several ways of sculpting  plastic using heat and pressure. I was able to make striking  representations of natural forms that  pointed to the ecological and climate crisis we currently face.  

Chrystal’s studio

Whilst my focus has been larger plastic items salvaged from the landscape, my research will now turn  to micro-plastics. Micro-plastics are one of the most damaging pollutants as micro-plastic penetrate  and kill the blood cells of humans and animals. What makes micro-plastic so dangerous is its size,  although there is approximately 24.4 trillion pieces currently in the ocean, it’s very hard to target  something so hard to see and collect.

This expedition allows me to innovate ways of collecting micro plastic from the ocean to transform into something meaningful.  

What made you decide to use crowdfunding to help pay for your research voyage?  

Public funding for arts and artists in general is always extremely limiting. Crowd funding allows me to  broaden the outcomes of my research.  

Crowdfunding for the research voyage

Are there other bene;its of having a crowdfunding campaign other than just raising the   funds?  

Often you can be limited to the audience you have on social media or within your industry. The crowd  funding community offers you the support of others you may not usually be connected with but unite  you over a common cause.  

Once you had decided to use crowdfunding how long did it take you to create your campaign?   

The hardest part of making a campaign is planning — planning rewards, your story and how to  manage your content. Once I had my plan in place it took very little time to complete. I worked  intensely for six days to complete everything including photography.  

Mushroom sculpture made of plastic from the beach

What was the most dif;icult part of creating your campaign page?  

The most difficult part of creating my campaign was editing my ‘Story’. Often, it is hard to choose what  information to keep and what to let go of. Making sure I didn’t have too much or too little information  took a much longer than I expected.  

Did you have an audience built in advance of your campaign and if so how had you acquired  them?  

I usually use social media, in particular Instagram, to announce new work and exhibitions. This is  where most, if not 90% of my audience comes from.  

A small oyster shell sculpture

What has been the best part about running your campaign to date?  

The overwhelming support from my audience has been by far the best part of the campaign. Often you  aren’t aware of how many people, strangers or friends, that really appreciate what you do. This  campaign has certainly energised me with the generous support from others.  

How did you get to hear about and why did you choose ReadyFundGo?  

I knew of all the major crowdfunding organisations however, I was looking for a site that would align  with my values. I did a simple search online for Australian crowd funders and I found ReadyFundGo. I  was so pleased to find they were carbon neutral with a focus of sustainability and I never looked back.

Remember to check out Chrystal’s campaign page if you would like to be the proud owner of one of her sculptures made from recycled plastic. If you are not near the beach or are unable to pick up some plastic today supporting the campaign is such an amazingly easy way to make a difference today.

Making the sculptures


If you have a project to help the environment and would like to try crowdfunding, you can start creating your campaign HERE today.

If you'd like to see more of our essential tips for managing and promoting your crowdfunding project, you can grab our Guide To Crowdfunding here.

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About ReadyFundGo

ReadyFundGo is a crowdfunding platform and community of social entrepreneurs, business owners, change makers and innovators who have a great idea they want to get off the ground or grow. If you are interested in the world of innovation and ideas, or want to find strategies for raising funds for your own project or expansion, ReadyFundGo can help. To begin your own crowdfunding campaign, start your draft here.