Artists of recycling

"In the mid 1980’s as an artist using basket techniques to express ideas I felt free to use any material available, no matter where it came from. But, as I learnt more about the tradition and craft of basket making it became obvious to me that basket makers have always been environmental conservationists; using only the materials of their immediate environment and never more than could be considered sustainable. This realisation combined with a life-long interest in resourcefulness and a growing conviction that sustainability was a valid cause made me decide in 1992 to stop using materials that could not be considered sustainable. Rattan from South East Asia, chemical dyes and applied paints and varnishes were some of the things that were consequently eliminated from my work. Now I work only with grown, found or recycled materials that are available in my immediate environment and sustainable living and working has become a guiding principle in my life."

"Most of the materials used for manufacturing consumer products and their packaging still have many years of life left in them when they are buried in landfill sites. It is this, often colourful, everyday waste that has inspired much of my work. These materials which already have their own history, present me as a designer, with the challenge of turning them into something new which will intrigue, amuse or otherwise stimulate the viewer or user."

Lois Walpole about her work

Her book "Crafty Containers: From Recycled Materials" is available at amazon.com. I promise you it's really worth it!

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