I'm looking forward to returning in January 2021
to continue on with various art projects and new work
I look forward to that very much and hope to see you then
"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Recycling in textile art

It's been a while since I posted here. I used the time to sort out my art materials, organise my work room and get started on various challenges for LOVE STITCHING RED

Now - do you remember this picture from the last post?

I've been thinking a lot about recycling in textiles. I always try to do this where I can and I'm always looking for new ways to use up the bits. I'm a terrible hoarder and I save EVERYTHING!

... scrap paper, wrapping paper, envelopes, labels, tags, etc. all get used either in my sketchbooks, inchies, collages, made into mini journals (which I paint and stitch on) or recycled into paper pulp, handmade paper or papier mache. Recently, I used up some of it in the Erosion Bundle Project

... tin foil, sweetie wrappers, plastic carrier bags, card bags and acetate sheets usually get zapped with my heat gun or soldering iron to make beads or are distressed, distorted or heat bonded to other materials to create interesting textures in textiles

... jam jars and glass jars are used to store my Brusho inks when I mix up my ink powders. I like to mix the powders to create different shades and it's handy to have jars already mixed up

... leftover metallic threads and fabric scraps (even the tiniest pieces) are kept in little pots for re-using in my glitzy bits fabric sandwiches and embellishing tiny pieces of textile art


This is a piece I'm working on at the moment with my global warming theme in mind. I'm thinking about distress and holes and icy water melting. The base is made from a layer of felt, a layer of chiffon, glitzy bits and leftover snippets, then another layer of sheer chiffon fabric. I'm in the process of free machine stitching circles for holes all over the piece

You can see I've started to cut away the edges in the corner. I will do this all around the piece. I've also started to "zap" the chiffon layer with a heat gun, soldering iron and scissors to get through to the glitzy bits. The heat not only melts the chiffon layer but also distorts the little bits underneath melting and bonding them together giving an interesting look and texture

Detail of distress

Detail of distress

I will show it finished very soon ... that will make me get on with it!

Heart detail

I made another heart (this is just so I am reminded of the ones I made as little gifts at Christmas)

Christmas heart

I made a card for my journal as well

I tried using the blue sweetie wrappers (from the choccies in the picture above) to make beads. They are wrappers from Quality Street choccies and the wrappers wouldn't melt! Sweetie wrappers from Cadbury's Roses, however, worked fine! They were thinner and melted and bonded a treat

Melting fun!

I made a little batch of beads using various materials, Tyvek, sweetie wrappers, plastic bags, metallic fabrics that melted to a plastic texture and chiffons which distorted, wrapped in Madeira metallic thread

Lovely textures!

The blue sweetie wrappers won't be wasted, though. I used two layers of blue sweetie wrappers for the background on this inchie that I made for the inchie challenge. This week the letter is "B" for blue!

Have a good creative week and try to think about ways to recycle in your projects. I would love to hear your ideas for recycling in textile art

Carolyn ♥


*jean* said...

o i love that i found other people that save everything!! i love to use candy foils especially! i love what you are doing, soooo very creative to use every last bit!! you are such an inspiration!! i teach an art club at my sons school and our theme is always to be using far we have made atcs & paper beads from magazines and i taught them how to use up their markers for watercolosr and next we are sawing the dried up marker bodies & caps up to make beads to add to the paper bead stands! we are even going to find all of our plastic gift cards to cut & file into shapes to dangle as jewelry.

Cathie said...

Swirls of blues and teeny tiny circle - so pretty and bubbly. We must be on the same wave - I am making beads today too. Dipping them in all kinds of stuff and then dipping them into polyurethane. Fun!

Julie said...

I love the heart you have made and the beads are gorgeous. I wish I lived nearer so we could have some playdays :o) I save and reuse all sorts of things too and now am loath to throw out clothes as I feel I should be re-using them too. Just managed to recycle a t-shirt and a charity shop shirt into a couple of quilts so I'm trying to do my bit!

Lynn Cohen said...

I love your beads and the top textile project too. Okay, time for me to get a heat gun. No more putting it off. Do you wear a good mask while working with it? DH who once was a professional wood worker keeps reminding me of the safety precautions I'll need to take if I use one. It can be very very very nasty to your lungs. You certainly know this already.
And yes, I use mostly recylcled materials in my art too. love the banner here.

Pom Pom said...

I am happy that I have some Carolyn beads!

Dotti said...

Carolyn, by the looks of things, you have been having way too much fun! Love your distressed piece...think I will go try it out myself!

Ruth said...

That's the perfect color for "distressed" as it looks just like the color of glaciers. Wonderful work!

Doreen G said...

I love your wonderful beads Carolyn and the distressed fabric piece is looking good.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Thought I was the only one with jars of tiny snippets and things. Makes it extra special to create something out of scraps don't you think? I absolutely love your latest creations! Do you know Kim Thittichai's books? She also likes to recycle and is very experimental. Think you might like her stuff.

Annie said...

Both twigel an I are into recycling so thank you for sharing this. Lovely blog.
A x

Gina said...

Love how you've made that blue fabric... gorgeous!

Chris Gray said...

What a lovely bunch of photos and things!...

....I'm trying to be more disciplined this year - by using what I already have here rather than buying even more (that I REALLY don't need!)... know what happens to THOSE kind of resolutions don't you ;-)

Anonymous said...

Pleased your back. I really enjoy looking at your work as it gives me inspiration.

Twiglet said...

I have pots of bits and bobs but you have it down to a fine art and I really mean just that! What an inspirational blog - thanks for sharing!

Jo McIntosh said...

Well I think the hardest part is having to eat all the sweets first - you have to suffer for your art!

JP said...

just love the beads

Sharne Gregory said...

I think in the name of art, we all need to eat more Roses chocolates! Lovely texture on those beads. I havent used the beads yet that you made for me, I just love to admire them.

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Katherine said...

What did you melt the beads around? I think this might be a fun project to do (outside) with my textile class. We learn about different fibers, and what I want them to learn about synthetics is that they are plastic and thus they can be melted.

Katherine said...

What did you melt the beads around? I think this might be a fun project to do (outside) with my textile class. We learn about different fibers, and what I want them to learn about synthetics is that they are plastic and thus they can be melted.