SUSTAINABILITY of practice and care for the natural environment are evident in many members’ work.
Designer-makers are thinking carefully about what materials to use and where to source them; the tools, machines and processes they employ; how waste and surplus can be disposed of, or reused; how to pack and transport works; and even which suppliers to use for services such as banking practices.
Some makers chose to work with found and recycled materials. Sam Isaacs of Reworked takes beachcombed detritus like buoys and combines them with repurposed vintage appliances to make his quirky one-off lights, while Lizzie Kimbley seeks out waste and surplus yarn, fabrics and metal from other makers to reimagine and re-form into her weavings.
Sculptural pieces by Charlie Birtles are perhaps the ultimate in re-use, re-creating her own archive in a variety of found and repurposed materials, to form new artworks. Hannah Lobley shows rounded forms made using her own technique, Paperwood, moistening and layering waste paper into a new solid material that she is then able to turn on a lathe, like wood.
Lucy MacDonald of Arra Textiles takes great care how she sources the natural yarns that she hand-dyes and weaves in her Royal Deeside studio, looking for traceable supply chains for all her materials. Her indigo-hued pieces reflect her love of the natural environment, especially seascapes. Marine concerns are to the fore in Jacky Oliver’s metal sculptures, as she uses her skills in shaping and enamelling to make compelling forms that warn of the perils of overfishing.
Water comes into its own in Amy Leigh’s studio: it is the cooling element for her one-off pewter pieces. The work is experimental, unique and with zero waste, as Amy is able to re-cast leftover metal many times, in her quest for intriguing shapes to encase in her eco-resin vessels.
Other exhibitors addressing sustainability include: Linda Bloomfield whose ceramics celebrate the importance of lichen; Ash & Plumb’s use of local woods and making practices in their wooden vessels; Michaela McMillan’s embrace of recycled and donation materials for her lively assemblages; Alison Shelton Brown’s love of found matter like metal and sea-twine; and Momoka Gomi who is influenced by the Japanese tradition of Sakiori, upcycling worn denim into her weaving.