Sunday, January 3, 2016

Too Precious to Waste

 Stitched tea bags/ old doily "tea lights" - Wilma Simmons 
More than a year ago, a decision was made.  The annual exhibition of NCEATA ( Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists) 2015-2016 will have the theme "Mottainai".
Mottainai in Japanese refers to more than just physical waste (resources). It is even used to refer to thought patterns that give rise to wasteful action. Grammatically, it can be used in Japanese as an exclamation ("mottainai!") or as an adjective phrase ("it feels mottainai"). There is no plural form. The collection of mottainai things could be called mottainai koto (もったいない事?).
As an exclamation ("mottainai!") it means roughly "what a waste!" or "Don't waste."[2] A simple English equivalent is the saying "waste not, want not." A more elaborate meaning conveys a sense of value and worthiness and may be translated as "do not destroy (or lay waste to) that which is worthy."[ from Wikipedia.  So recycling and upcycling - respectful reuse - became the inspiration 
Stitched tea bags "tea lights" - Wilma Simmons 
In my usual way, I kept putting off what to make although as I love to work with tea bags, it was always going to be tea bags.... so at the last minute (literally) I made some little tea bag vessels, which look great as tea light holders. These are very simply made - stitch pieces of tea bag paper together (of course, dry and empty used tea bags first) and then stiffen with fabric stiffener or  a  similar medium  like "Mod Podge".  
I added motif snippets from old doilies to some, and this gave a more interesting effect and seemed to fit with the theme too. Of course, the little tea light candles have no flames - they are battery operated, and are able to illuminate these tea bag vessels safely.  These tea bag vessels sit beside some amazingly creative work in the exhibition by fellow NCEATA members. 
1. Tea bag "tea lights" - Wilma Simmons  2. Altered book  - Sue Shute ; 3 Stitched fragments - Ruth Spence 4. Recycled copper wire necklace by Mary Hedges   
1. embroidery by Ruth Spence; 2  stitched books - Maija Maiou 3 dorset buttons - Doris Gordon
 4. doily collars - Barbara Sherlock 

1. life jacket and CD tree - Sandra Cooke; 2 stitched and pieced jacket - Maria Rofe; 3 free form stitching/applique (1/10 pieces in the series) - Judi Nikoleski ; 4. free form embroidery/applique- Ruth Spence 
The Opening - capacity crowd - 3 January 2016. 
The exhibition is open until 17 January at Timeless Textiles Gallery, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle East (NSW, Australia) Wednesdays - Saturdays 10am - 4pm and Sundays 10am - 2pm . Each day, there will be a NCEATA member in attendance to discuss the art works and various techniques. Hope to see you there - these photos are mere glimpses of the fantastic work on display!

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