I made my first small batch of bags ten years ago this year, the first being made from the off cut hem of a bridesmaid's dress I had worn at my younger Brother's wedding. (Pictured are my most recent, including this mother and toddler matching pair.)
I had a baby under a year old, and a part time job as a Learning Support Tutor at the Art College where I had done my Foundation course 8 years earlier.
I booked a table at a friend's small event, alongside jewellery by Cred and Phoenix cards and people seemed interested in the bags and even bought a few! We were newly married and didn't have much money, or room in our home and my creative space was a converted cupboard! (Which regularly spilled out onto the dining room table - nothing changes!) The idea of making beautiful things from what others had no more use for seemed both economical and ethical. I had also always been interested in the idea of looking at things for their potential, not their past. This went for everything from old buildings, discarded tin cans and cigarette packets (a regular feature in my degree work as I picked them up on my cycle ride to the studio!), old books and letters and of course.....fabric!
It also ran deep in the way I felt about people. So often in this life, we write people off, because of something stupid they have done, or the life they have led. There's infinite goodness in everyone we meet though - even the ones most detested by society. And even me.
So, I guess the idea of bringing abandoned and forgotten things into the work that I do and the things I make is a reminder that there's always something new to be made from something old. The perseverence of the saints (you and me) is made up of new beginnings and I have needed a great many so far in this life.
I am so energised by the recent turn my work is taking towards incorporating my Fine Art training into the every day useful items I make and with the new art work labels I have been making to accompany them. It feels fantastic to be painting again in my illustrations and to be creating mixed media work in miniature with scraps of fabric, old stamps and various papery bits and pieces!
So, if you didn't know why it's called what it is, that's why. Redeem Creations.