When i was 16 i took an evening class in indigo dying and batik, funnily enough with Alice (we have known each other a long old time!). My dad made us both a batik frame from the old wooden clothes horse that my mum had used to dry my cloth nappies on. He had kept it in the loft and then reinvented it years later. Also my mum was a primary teacher so egg boxes, cereal packets and the like were always saved in true 'Blue Peter' style.
Nowadays we are all more aware about waste and are hopefully moving towards reducing what we consume as well as continuing to recycle. I am always interested in how materials are reinvented and recycled and i would like to share with you some interesting products and people i have come across. Please click on the highlighted links to view their websites.
A friend of ours has just turned 40.... We went to his party in Dorset a while ago (our recent camping trip) but have just got the present we had ordered through. I saw these on not on the high street, by pop guru and thought they were fun....
Bowls made by recycling old LP vinyl records.
We were after a particular artist so emailed them and had to wait a bit but it was worth it. The bowl arrived and we were delighted. What's more we didn't think about the date which would be on the record and by shere fluke it is 1967 the year he was born! wow.. how about that.. very pleased.. now i hope he will like it.
A few weeks ago i went a local Festival of Crafts and came across Joanne Tinker who recycles metal bottle tops from beer bottles and creates beautiful pendants, earrings and brooches. I was excited by these and very tempted, but she was very busy and i didn't get a chance to speak to her. Her necklaces were my favourite pieces.
She also had little box frames containing tiny sweet wrapper cups, a great idea and so colourful. My sister and i used to make these when we were children so they felt particulary nostalgic.
There were a few other artists recycling.. Elizabeth Cook recycles fabrics.. mainly old woolens which she felts... not a new technique to many bloggers yet i thought her use of colours and the simplicity of her designs was good.
I was also inspired by Julie Roberts who uses textiles and handmade paper. Paper making and papier mache are techniques i loved using whilst at art college and hope to experiment with again soon. Her lampshades were like jelly fish sea anenomes. They were quite large and in real life stunningly beautiful. She is based at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading if anyone is near and is interested in searching her out.
Another interesting exhibitor from the festival was....Elizabeth Beverley with her beautiful plant dyes wool for knitting. I would love to do some natural dying. I have my mum's old recepies from when she studied natural dying.. i even have her old dye vat in which i remember her steeping onion skins and other such raw material, when i was a child. I always loved the wooden tongs she used.. i wonder if she still has them. I would also love to knit. I come from a family of knitters.. even my dad knits. I am the one that sews rather than knits but i had the urge the other day to do some knitting when i saw my girls knitting with 'nana'. I went out and brought some yarn and am now the proud owner of a cotton dishcloth. I already have 2 bought from a friends craft stall a while back, they really are good and have a great abrasive quality. I think i will make some more.. it may help me to enjoy cleaning a little more.
Other interesting recycling sites to look up...
Anna Roebuck's Bags to riches.... Anna is an artist who recycles plastic bags in to jewellery, art and lights.
Doy bags ......colourful, fun bags and home accessories made from recycled juice packs by a women's cooperative in the Philippines and Remarkable recycled stationary goods.
Hope you find some of these links useful and if you know of any interesting other links please leave a comment.