Using recycled materials both manufactured and natural

“I am a firm believer that everything has an inherent value and should not be wasted. I have been experimenting with natural fibres, grasses, vines, recycled materials and other materials found in my local environment to turn what might have been wasted into something useful and pleasing to the eye, hence Waste Not Fibre Designs. Each basketry piece is unique, drawing from whatever comes to hand that sparks my imagination.” Sally Blackwell

On my retirement from teaching I felt the time was right for a sea change.  Rather than travelling or physically relocating my life I took up weaving classes!  I was first introduced to weaving by Glenda Ewin a local artist from Bowen Mountain, where I live. She learnt the craft from the Tjanpi desert weavers of the western and central deserts of Australia. Other influences to my work are Meri Peach and Lanny Mackenzie, both talented and generous fibre artists who have shared their knowledge with me in a variety of workshops.  I particularly like the idea that I can take materials that others might throw away (and yes, family and friends are checking with me before throwing anything out!) and make something functional and attractive – giving it a new life and purpose.

I use coiling techniques as well as random weaving and twining. Raffia features strongly in most of my baskets, along with local grass, jacaranda stems, vines and pine needles – and the search continues for new natural materials that can be used in my weaving. Recycled materials are taking over my life, old electrical cords, chip packets, plastic bags, fabric from old clothes and sheets, strips from chaff bags, beads from all those 1980 big necklaces, wool, the ever popular plastic webbing from onion and orange bags and so much more, they all find a new home in my weavings.

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