Artist Spotlight: Carla Fox and Carla Fox Designs

 

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Carla Fox has been making stuff from cast offs, scraps and found materials since she started fashioning doll clothes from her mother’s sewing scraps as a child.  Both sets of grandparents, and my parents, lived with the notion of “use it up, wear it out, make do or do without”.  She comes by it naturally.

So, over the past ten or so years, it seemed like a natural progression from making “regular” jewelry from beads to using found items, broken jewelry bits and pieces,  and vintage jewelry.  “I love working this way, and I had so many more avenues to explore in making adornments and wearable art.  Why not go back to the fabric scraps?  I have saved so many designer samples from my previous profession, and had finally lit upon a use for them:  textile jewelry.”Image may contain: flower and plant

Now Carla almost exclusively experiments with repurposed or upcycled textiles, embellishing these pendants, brooches and collars with a multitude of items.  If she can sew or stitch it on by hand, she will use it.  If not, she figures out a way.  Carla says, “Each piece is unique, hand stitched and I never know where the process will lead me.  Or what the outcome might be. ”

neck e  neck h       Well,  as one of the members of the jury, I know exactly what I thought when I saw THIS piece. It screamed “BRIDE!!!!” to me. Immediately I envisioned someone on a budget buying a simple white sheath and then dressing it up with this.  neckpiece Carla Fox

 

I reached out to some wedding planners to let them know about our festival. Afterall, Carla’s neckpieces are amazing adornments, and so many of the other artists have items that would work as wedding presents or favors. And only one replied to me: “MY clients don’t wear garbage!” Her tone was so angry that I had even emailed her in the first place that I dropped it, but it sure was obvious she did not understand…..we are not presenting trash to the public with this Recycled Arts Festival, we are introducing the treasures that most people miss.  And YOU understand this….thank you!

Carla Fox and Carla Fox Designs are located at Table #22.

 

Artist Spotlight: Aundrea Harris and Underwood Estates

Over her life, Aundrea Harris learned her art from a mishmash of experiences and hobbies. Designing came early as a floral designer for the Portland Rose Festival and jewelry designer for one of her first jewelry design companies in the 1980s.  Aundrea’s  passion for art and beauty extended from flowers and beads to incorporate textiles and vintage elements.jewelry

To create beauty from recycled pieces all while reducing trash, is not only a skill, but a passion.  Aundera explains, ” Reclaimed materials are some of the best items to work with. Millions of pounds of fibers and textiles are disposed of daily. We discard damaged clothing when we stain it, so why not utilize the remains and create beauty?bags

“Beauty can be found in just about everything, one must just expand their creative mind! Not only does working with reclaimed materials help eliminate trash on our planet, but it also creates beauty out of something one never would have expected. Beauty is in everything…just look.”more jewels

Aundrea Harris and Underwood Estates is at Table #10.

Artist Spotlight: Jennii Childs and reUNIQUE designs by jennii

Back in 2007, having just gone through a divorce, Jenni was looking at ways to redefine herself. While cleaning out stuff, she ran across a box of old flatware she had collected with intentions to ‘teach’ herself to make bracelets and rings…at that moment, her passion for creating artful things out of what others might discard was born. Jennii is a self-taught artist, whose art has morphed and grown out of a lot of trial and error and whose craft has changed by the cool ‘junk’ she has salvaged. What others see as trash; Jennii sees necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more.B8AC0741-EA40-4B29-A8E2-A01B58F5E1F6 - Jennii Childs

In college, Jennii had one more elective to take to graduate; Astrology or Environmental Conservation were my choices. Guess which one fit best into my schedule? Correct! Environment Conservation!  Jennii is excited to share, “Fate stepped in to make the best choice ever! I’ve always loved natural and all things outside but through this class I learned how fragile our environment is and how without good stewardship we will destroy this amazing gift. Working with reclaimed and repurposed materials is just cool but more importantly, it has allowed me an avenue to talk about the importance of reducing waste, conserving resources and just being good caretakers this place we live.”D335A80E-0FC6-4EC7-B455-47BA2FB09C56 - Jennii Childs

Jennii handcrafts one-of-a-kind jewelry from old wire, hardware, leather and metal scraps. To attach my pieces, she likes to use rusted screws that she might find along roadsides or by rummaging through salvage hotspots. My latest rescue is a bucket of spent bullet shells which I etch & turn into necklaces; adding wish messages or dried flowers making something delicate and decorative.FC0E18E5-1C2B-46FC-AECB-7284CC101CD3 - Jennii Childs

Jennii Childs and reUNIQUE designs by jennii is at Table #6.

Artist Spotlight: Jane Parsons and Totally Bent

1 - Izzy Parsons

Jane Parsons  has always been a crafter though the types of crafts  changed over time and she would learn a new technique when she’d get an idea that needed to be expressed.

“Using “junk” is my favorite medium,” Jane says. “Making something from “nothing” is the most fun and creative  and since you never know what “junk” you will find your creative process is always changing and  your pieces are unique!”4 - Izzy Parsons

Her passion is creating unique jewelry and accessories created from upcycled and repurposed junk; old vacuum tubes, discarded pipe, hardware, etc. Imagine the search and the find: nothing is as rewarding as looking at a pile of discarded junk and seeing beautiful treasures.  “By offering them for sale, I hope I inspire others to look at their “useless” junk with a new vision.”IMG_0011 (1) - Izzy Parsons

Jane Parsons and Totally Bent is elevated at Table #19.

Artist Spotlight: Laura Roberts and Deer to Ewe

Deer to Ewe is a husband and wife team who has enjoyed creating jewelry from found materials for five years.    Laura shared, “After 40 years of marriage we saw the need to really simplify but instead of throwing items out we looked at how we could make them into something new and beautiful not only for us but for others.”IMG_5363300 - Laura Roberts

Laura views the items they source as valuable raw material, including antlers and recycled tin/aluminum. “We do it to reduce waste, incur little or no cost to produce (except for time, which we have more of now) and for the challenge and uniqueness.”IMG_7143300 - Laura Roberts

This is just one way they can demonstrate that they care for the earth after all it is the only home we have. “We can enjoy what nature has given us and recycle what is man-made. The earth is beautiful! Let’s keep it that way!”IMG_6267300 - Laura Roberts

Laura Roberts and Deer to Ewe is at Table #21.

Artist Spotlight: Valerie Donley and Flotsam & Jetsom

 

Valerie Donley’s creativity was developed over her lifetime in some way.. from competing in hairstying shows in Detroit, to developing creative programs for children who were facing multiple challenges in their lives.

She grew up in a fairly frugal household. Her parents grew up during the depression so whe learned early on to be resourceful. As Tim Gunn from Project Runway says “ make it work”.IMG_6823

“One of my passions is to use simple ideas about creating while making do. Why purchase fiber batting when using dryer lint will accomplish the same thing? I like to look at an object and visualize what else it could become. That’s how making bracelets from empty tape rolls came to be.” Valerie explains that materials for use are all around us. IMG_7437

We are such a throw away society . If we can begin to consciously think about using less and  becoming practical about how we can reuse what’s already out there our children and grandchildren will be better for it. IMG_7154

Valerie Donley and Flotsam & Jetsom are located at Table 34.

Artists Spotlight: Marj Engle and Marj Engle Designs

Marj Engle began making paper mosaic art in 2009,  developing her technique through trial and error. She wanted to replicate the look of tile mosaic, but in a less messy form using paper.

However, in 2014, she got a new idea and her  jewelry line, started in 2014, is the an off-shoot of her paper mosaic art.  Marj liked the creative challenge, and it was fun playing with and refining the idea to be what it is today.Marj Engle 5 - Marj Engle

“My biggest challenge when developing my paper mosaic jewelry line was what material to use as a platform for the paper. After trying various materials that I had found at SCRAP in Portland, I stumbled on vinyl flooring samples and scraps, which is the material that I ultimately settled on.”Marj Engle 1 - Marj Engle

Marj is a long time user of cast off items. “I didn’t initially start with the idea of using only recycled materials in my jewelry making. I have long been a recycler and re-user in other areas of my life, and have frequented thrift stores all of my adult life, so a place like SCRAP was where I naturally gravitated to. Finding the vinyl, and realizing as I searched for paper sources that the more interesting paper (to me) was to be found in old magazines and books, I decided that I really liked the idea of making something completely unique and beautiful from sources that many folks would simply overlook or consider garbage. Re-use makes sense to me – it feels like the natural and responsible choice in caring for our environment.”Marj Engle 10 - Marj Engle

You can find Marj Engle and Marj Engle Designs at Table 2.

Artist Spotlight: Elsa Dye and Elsa Dye Handmade Jewelry

It’s time for spring cleaning and Elsa Dye is waiting for her friends to call her. She’s happy to take all those decorative metal tins that seem to be everywhere holding treats during the Christmas season. How many do YOU have in your attic/basement/garage?

Elsa first started experimenting with creating jewelry from repurposed decorative tins about five years ago.  Since she always loved tins because of the wide variety of lovely patterns that they come in, Elsa wanted to make something that celebrated that.Elsa_Dye_double_disc_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

Getting more serious to learn her art medium better, she  further developed her tin jewelry by takings classes in traditional metalworking. Elsa reports , “Taking classes helped me refine my techniques and gave me new ideas to explore in my designs.”Elsa_Dye_rectangle_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

And Elsa appreciates something more about what she is able to produce. “One of the reasons that I love working with reclaimed goods is because of the the history of the material.  It feels good to have an appreciation for a discarded item that has already led a useful life, and to be able to reshape it into something brand new so that it can  continue on!”Elsa_Dye_hinged_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

Elsa also loves the ever changing variety of the material.  While she has developed her  style for the repurposed tin jewelry, “no two pieces are ever the same because I am always finding tins with new colors and patterns.  In a world where many things are designed to be exactly duplicated, it is really special to be able to make unique items that are the only one of their kind in the whole world. “Elsa_Dye_hinged2_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

One amazing aspect of the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival IS the uniqueness of the art produced by Elsa and the other artists. This is a golden opportunity to think of that special person in your life…..not only is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up soon, but with some careful consideration, you can find an amazing gift for the graduate, the bride and groom, and even for your holiday gift giving.

Elsa Dye and Elsa Dye Handmade Jewelry can be found at Table #28.