Jan Elftmann's
CORK TRUCK
I use my art car as an inspirational tool. Driving the Cork Truck everyday has given me a deeper, richer relationship with one of my sculptures than I could have ever imagined. It is a daily reminder to myself that being an artist is a special way of life for me. It is a highly visible illustration of my process as an artist to collect our society's refuse and transform it into works of art.
What started out as collecting corks during a waitress job while in art school has sent me on a wonderful journey of creating art using this incredible natural material from a tree.
I always have to laugh when someone tells me they saw the Cork Truck over in their neighborhood as if I was not driving it, maybe they think it is driving itself around town.
After saving wine and champagne corks for over 13 years, I glued the first cork on my truck in the summer of 1996. I found that cork was an ideal material to use in a place like Minneapolis where the weather varies from 90 degrees above zero to 25 or more below zero. Cork repels water, wine, and dye and it does not burn or decompose.
I answer the same questions ten times a day and pretend it is the first time I have heard it because I enjoy talking with anyone who is curious about the Cork Truck. One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is "Does it float?" I have not driven it into a lake yet to see if it floats, but I hope to someday.
Another common question I get is, "Did you drink all that wine?" I did the math and I would have to consume a bottle a day for 28 years at the cost of $100,000 to accumulate enough corks to cover my truck.