I’ve been working on hats consistently over the last few months – always got one sitting in the project box. When I started making them I was trying for one for the small bloke in the house. Hat after hat was made and passed on to another child until we were both satisfied. Next I started on one for the big bloke. And again the hats morphed into other objects or were given to others until I finally got one that:
a. fit him
b. satisfied us both regarding colour and style.
I keep thinking it’s still not QUITE there. Needs to be a bit more fitted and the brim wider to be more useful as a sun hat. But it’s a start. And I’m quite relieved that I’ve done it, because now I can fiddle faddle around with one for ME. And I know that’s going to take quite some time to get right.
In the meantime, mum says that a bag we sent to my aunt in Austria has been seized by her grandchildren and being fought over. Hooray says I. Someone – two or three – like my bags!
Two others are in a shop in Castlemaine but not selling. So I might pull them out of there, check ’em over and send ’em off to join their kin and mine in Austria.
People do actually like these creations, but they are hard to price and hard therefore to sell. I spend a long time making them. Salvaging or collecting the material, preparing it and making yarn, then crocheting the items. It’s time consuming and although I’m pretty good at crochet, they’re not masterful examples of the technique. The designs are good but not outstanding, and they definitely look on the lumpy side of handmade. The same materials and techniques go into making beautiful accomplished work by master crafters overseas where the cost of living is cheaper and products are therefore cheaper too.
But you know what. I didn’t start doing this to make money. I did it because I needed to make things, I needed to get back to the creative designer maker I once was before working in an office – albeit as an historian, something I also love doing.
I make things out of trash, discarded plastic, packaging, waste materials because it satisfies my craving for making, my delight in the challenge (can I make something extraordinary out of something ordinary, less than ordinary, designed for other purposes) and because I want to do something about all the waste we produce, discard and ignore. It’s the bright, fluorescent pink plastic elephant in the room. And it’s getting bigger. It’s become such a big problem that the elephant has finally encroached on our notice. SO many people are uniting to draw attention and make change:
Take three for the sea
Artists too, such as Australian Jess Leitmanis who travels Australia with various organisations to clean up remote beaches and then bring tons of material back to create her beautiful, thoughtful artworks.
My work is a tiny drop – but together with others we can be a tidal wave of change. Because we have to.