Thursday, June 7, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about sustainability and the ideas of reducing, reusing, and recycling, lately. Recently, I came across this website: Greennovate. While it focuses on China, it has a number of interesting an informative videos. Watching "The Secret Lives of Our Clothes" made quite an impression on me. I knew that there were environmental and health concerns surrounding clothing manufacture, but the video made at least some of those concerns more vivid.

One of the things that I have been struggling with as I move along this journey to creating my art is how to use materials in a sustainably responsible way. I was reminded of the path that artist Maya Donenfeld has taken by a reference to her work that led me to her blog She uses repurposed materials in her pieces. I first encountered a reference to Maya in Where Women Create's Summer 2010 issue. Seeing her work and reading her blog seems to have come at a good time.

I recently began sorting through denim scraps cut from old jeans. Since I have three grown children and an active husband, I have lots of them collected over about twenty years. While my original intent in collecting them was to make comforters for my boys' beds, I have been considering other options to use them since the boys have grown up. Since watching the video on Greenovate, I have also been contemplating alternatives to jeans and/or ways to find sustainable choices.

As Maya points out on her blog, it is possible to repurpose a lot of different materials. Do you have a favorite material to repurpose or reuse? How do you decide on the best use for something? What types of techniques do you use?

1 comment:

  1. Dianne,
    Thanks for this post, it's definitely thought-provoking. I've struggled with the fact that my preferred method of making art, inkjet printing on fabric and other materials, can't be very 'green'. I do know that printing fabric with inkjet inks is better for the environment than how commercial fabrics are produced, but still... Anyway, at least I can repurpose other materials in my artwork. And - love the monarch photo at the top of the post! Heidi