Re-upholstered salvage chairs by Sylvia Huxtable.
The Ugandan bead project ‘aber beads‘ allows women to engage in enterprise and business activities. Aber means beautiful in Acholi, a tribe from the war ravaged north of Uganda. The beads are made from recycled paper which is twisted wrapped for extra strength.
“The pages of recycled magazines are cut into triangles & then rolled into beads. They are coated with a non toxic, odourless varnish which gives them a water resistant & glossy finish as well as protecting them from fading. Create unique, social & ethical gorgeous jewels such as necklaces, earrings & bracelets.” (taken from the Etelage blog)
These paper bowls are also really pretty and are surprisingly sturdy too. The aber project mainly supports women affected by war and/or by HIV and AIDS. The initiative aims to give these women a sense of empowerment and freedom in creating their own goods while promoting sustainability.
British designer Zoe Murphy promotes the idea of ‘Loving what belongs to you’ by printing onto recycled furniture and textiles. Her imagery is inspired by her seaside hometown – Margate in Kent, England adding a story and charm to her work.
After graduating with a first class degree in Printed Textiles in 2008, Zoe decided to pursue her passion for recycling and reusing discarded furniture. She also seeks to encourage others to consume more carefully and with more responsibility.
The prints she uses to upcycle existing furniture and textiles draw their inspiration from her seaside hometown of Margate, Kent. Like many seaside resorts in the UK, which used to be buzzing with holiday makers and the brights lights of tourist funfairs and arcades.
They remain a mere shadow of their past glory with many landmarks being left empty and run down. These small reminders of better times come with a certain charm and glamour.
Zoe incorporates Margate into her pieces to reflect her core values of finding potential in things that others may have forgotten and discarded. She brings her vintage furniture back to life giving it a new face and a new lease of life.
Her re-use of mid twentieth century furniture pieces and patterns has been noticably inspired by the Formica style so prevalent in her home town, giving her work a 1950s feel.
This relatively simple and elegant furniture is transformed into vibrant and optimistic new work with an entirely new identity.
The theme of reusing and recycling is central to Zoe’s work and she places particular emphasis on the importance of re-using as much of a material as is possible and using environmentally friendly products.
Zoe’s furniture has previously been selected for the ‘New Designers’ showcase in Islington, she has also exhibited in the Tent London ‘Talentzone’ section and at ‘Meuble Paris’ as part of the Maison Objet shows in Paris.
She is an exciting new young designer to watch out for and shows at exhibitions and events all around the country, she is based in Margate and her works are available to order from her studio.
Christchurch in New Zealand has suffered a number of devastating earthquakes in the past 2 years, which left almost 200 people dead and thousands without a home.
The city is in ruins and it will probably take years to rebuild as people wait for their insurance payouts and buildings continue to be demolished because they are unfit for renovation.
It is almost like a ghost town in parts, as areas remain cordoned off and many residents have moved to the outskirts of the city. However this is also an interesting and exciting time for some, who are using their creativity and their innovation to build on fresh ideas and breathe life back into derelict areas.
Artists and architects are using the abundant open spaces to realise projects they may have never been able to take beyond the studio.
One of these brilliant projects is the Summer Pallet Pavilion in central Christchurch organised by Gap Filler – a creative urban regeneration initiative started in response to the September 4, 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and revised and expanded in light of the more destructive February 22, 2011 quake.
Gap filler collaborated with emerging designers, established professionals, architects and numerous volunteers to create this impressive venue.
They have created a community space from wooden crates. The self contained space is covered in plants and comprises of a stage, several counters/table and a large amount of seating. All this was made from used crates, salvaged boards and donated materials.
On the website it is described as ” a testament to the effectiveness of a collaborative and community-minded process. That creative ethos continues through its use, as the Pavilion will host live music, outdoor cinema and a wide range of other events from Thursday to Sunday and is also available for hire by any individual or community organisation at other times.”
It is incredible that even in a city that has been reduced to rubble, there is so much inspiration and innovation leading the drive to rebuild. Such support and involvement from the community is admirable and extremely moving.
It also shows how important creativity is in our society, without it we would be lost and without comfort or stimulation.