Archive for the ‘recycling in art/craft’ Category

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

So, there was a fair bit of unpicking and re-sewing going back in some places about 10″ long a line to find a suitable starting point or get to the end of a thread, to bring all the quilting lines right out to the selvedge of the fabric – the strip of batting showing on the right side of this photo is about 1″, and the gold fabric that needed to be filled after all was about 2″ wide, and approx. 72″” long, a little more maybe. Quite fiddly – but now I am back on track and the result will be worth it. Posted by Picasa

Percussion instrument?

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

On the flea market or Trash’n’treasure stalls at a recent gas and steam festival I attended with the offsprings in Maryland recently, this object caught my attention and jumped into my hands. Its smooth well balanced form, the soft metallic rustle of tin discs and crisper rattle from within the dried gourd at the other end, all spoke to me literally, saying ‘pick me’ and ‘take me home’. So I did – I had the $10 asking price and just could not resist this unusual and somehow beautiful thing. And fortunately, although I declared it coming in, no one wanted to see it, and therefore I was spared the pain of possible confiscation.

The stallholders said they felt it is a music maker, a percussion instrument. Although it is very sturdy, I will hang it on the wall while certain little people are visiting at the end of the year. And it is made ‘confidently’ by which I mean it is well crafted – from the shiny very smooth wood, to the wire fastened around the prongs to support the metal discs; and where the stained dried gourd meets the wooden shaft, the join is covered by a 3/4 inch stip of deerskin, probably, neatly held in place with a couple of tacks, which are holding depspite that it feels old and well used. It has an air about it of African heritage, which would not be surprising considering where I found it …. and any reader with knowledge of any thing like this, I’d be interesting in hearing it.

The overall length is about 18inches; the three pronged section about 7 inches; and the gourd about 3 inches base to neck and about 4 inches widest diametre. The rusted metal/tin discs are about 1 and 1/2 inch diametre. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

The three pronged branch from a tree or bush as been carefully cut ( the piece will stand perfectly balanced on the three ends)

the wires bear totally rusted thin metal discs with holes punched through with a nail or similar – these tin discs were stamped out: there are gently raised bands around the edge and one chain-like band, all faint – embossed. I don’t think they are flattened out lids from something else, and they are too smooth-edged to have been hand cut with tin snips. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

this view shows how the wire is bound and fastened to the third branch leaving one ‘side’ open

note the lovely smooth dark shiney branch – I feel it has been stipped of bark, maybe sanded with the grain and stained with a dark or black stain – which doesn’t rub off. Posted by Picasa

Recycled materials in creative endeavours

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006


A friend here, with whom I am doing some basic beading classes just now, has this figurine in her living room – she bought it in Johannesburg, South Africa a few years ago.

On a coffee table in her living room, it stands about 2 ft high, and the inner core is dried grass or straw bound into the long cone shape. Most if not all the materials used to create the costume the doll wears are from recycled waste and discarded household things such as clothing and packaging. Beading, which would probably have been bought, cheaply, has been applied sparsely but with great effect of a pattern. More fine beads suggest the hair lying over the top of the head, then nose and eyes. Black and yellow wool have been loosely plied together, and when wrapped produce a texture that looks remarkably like a knitted or printed pattern on the shirt or sweater the figure is wearing.

What a contrast to the current ‘bead the heck out of it’ fad prevailing in the art quilting world just now, with the impressionable masses amongst us utterly agog at learning of the literally 100’s of 1,000s of beads covering at least one large award winning quilt in a recent show. IMHO, “Less is more”, every time.

In a possibly slightly over-romanticised reputation from yesteryear, today quiltmaking hold an important place among domestic crafts involving recycled materials, utilising feed sacks, the best parts of old clothes , oddments and scraps from dressmaking, and all that stuff – including the folk art quilts from various parts of the world in the manner of Australian Waggas. In the highly visible major part of the Quilting Industry in Europe, UK, USA Australia, NZ and South Africa principally, western textile manufacturers produce several collections of new fabric designs per year especially for quilters, including fabrics printed to look like the hand dyed fabrics many home dyers now produce. In first world countries the result is that it has now become the exception rather than the norm to make a new quilt from pre-used fabrics, regrettably. Posted by Picasa

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