Every Ending is an opportunity for something new to emerge.
Death is not a permanent end,
but a transition into a new state.
We must “die” to the old
to give birth to the new.
The Tarot Handbook, Angeles Arrien
The Death ofÂ a Plastic Bag
The first thing I do with any bag is to cut off the handles and the bottom. Then itÂ gets marked on my “high tech” counter.
My High Tech Bag Counter
When a bag is officially logged, I might not use all at the time, but a bag with no handles and bottom lets me know that it has already been counted for. My commitmentÂ isÂ to use ALL of it! I have been working with plastic bags for the last two years and have only been counting how many bags I use for the past two months. Â I will soon have this information on the home page. I am just trying to figure out what would be the vest way to go about it. Any Ideas? Â In the past two months, the records show the death 0f 80 bags!
The Resurrection of the Body
The main body of the bag is woven into a cloth. With this part I make the handbags but there are infinite things you could do with it. I think it would be great to make lamps, covering furniture, cushions, rugs, place mats and many others useful things. Some times you can produce a piece that is beautiful in itself. I see it and immediately know that I can’t Â just cut it.
When I made this one, IÂ placed it on the window while I decided what to make with it. I immediately loved how it look when the light passed through it. The sun makes it come alive. It is completely inspired by the blues of Â the Indian Ocean here in Perth!
TheÂ Resurrection of the Handles
I was ending up with many handles and bottoms and didnâ€™t quite know what to do with all of them. I decided I wanted to make flowers out of them, so I went on the internet looking for some tutorials and found some simple ones.Â Then I experimented with different sizes, bag types, sewing methods. One of the things I am using the flowers for is to embellish handbags. I love the effect! On this particular handbag the horizontal colors are also handles woven into the design.
I am alsoÂ working on some ideas for accessories. I am so pleased with the results, I would love to hear your opinion! This one could work for bracelets, rings, broaches, hair bands!
TheÂ Resurrection of the Bits and Pieces
With the larger leftovers I am experimenting fusing them to make portraits. I am inspired by the aboriginal art of Australia. I admire their use of symbols and colors. I feel there is some sort of pattern emerging in my compositions, but it is a bit early on in the process to understand it. I am just letting the process flow, for now. I have called it Earth Lines, and will make a more extensive post on this topic later.
After I finish weaving, making flowers, painting with the left over strips, I look at the floor of my studio and there are still millions of little pieces of plastic. I can simply get the vacuumÂ and throw them out but it doesnâ€™t feel right. I want to use ALL THE BITS AND PIECES.
I then Â remembered an old technique I picked up while living in New York. It all started one day when walking home I found a lovely bright yellow wooden stool in the street that was getting thrown out. I took it home,Â used an old calendar with amazing pictures of Kandisky work and bought some Mud Pudge. I started my first decoupage project. I can remember how pleasant it was to work and how pleased I was with the result! I absolutely loved my stool and when I moved away I left it as a gift to a good friend.
That was the first and last time I experimented with decoupage and now I am having a play with this technique again. I thought it would be a good idea to decorate some containers with this method and maybe they could become the flower pots for my plastic flowers. One of the things that I most enjoy in this process is getting my hands filled with glue, waiting for it to dry and peeling it off! When I worked as a preschool teacher I constantly caught my student getting their hands filled with glue. Here are some pictures of the tea lights holders I have started to make with these bits and Pieces of plastic.