Friday, 6 May 2011

Green - Emerald - Jade - Chartreuse

There are many things that I like about making collages, as well as a few I don't. I can't remember the last time my nails looked even half-way to respectable or when I didn't have glue all over me. It is wonderful finding images, text, and other assorted oddments to turn into a completely new piece of art or a brand new card
I didn't start making collages just because they are an environmentally responsible way of crafting but it was a pretty big part of it. I love the combination of recycling and upcycling that goes into what I do.
I am going to link through to this blog-post from my Etsy shop so that anyone who wants to check out my green credentials will be able to see what I do.

I'll start by saying that I am an Ecocentric greenie. I am not now, nor ever have been anthropocentric. I have no doubt that if we damage the Earth enough then she will bite back and hard enough to finish us off and then heal herself. This is fine by me. I'm all for existing but I also think that a new ice age would fix a lot of things. I also have a bit of a Cornucopian buried inside me, but that's a debate for another time. I do love debates on Environmental Politics, to the point at which I think even my lecturer at Uni got used to me playing Devil's advocate. (This is one of his works on Green Politics if anyone's interested)

All of my collage materials are recycled.
The books are pre-read at least once and a lot of thought goes into which books I choose. Obviously they need to be out of copyright, not precious enough to me that I can't bear to cut them up, have nice text that will be visually pleasing and have enough of a pull that if someone wants to read the words they will be interesting.

The stamps which I use are from when I was a little girl and collected them. I mainly collected them because they were pretty rather than because I wanted a huge stamp collection. The ones that didn't make it into an album are now being used in collages. I am running a bit low and will need to restock soon but I won't be using new stamps but old ones that I will them upcycle into art.

The images that I use are taken from so many varied places that it would be silly to try and list them but all of them are recycled and repurposed. Magazines, photographs I have taken, postcards, newspapers, pictures, comics etc. All beautiful, colourful and with a brand new purpose in my collages.

Sometimes I do have to use backing paper for the base-layer of my collages (although this is clearly not the case with cards!) and I always try to make sure that this is made from recycled materials. I know there are a lot of 'try' in this and I wish I could guarantee that everything is 100% recycled but I just can't. I do promise to do my best though.
Postage and packaging is also a hot topic for Etsy recyclers. Wherever possible I will use recycled materials. I also often reuse packages for sending things. However, my main concern when sending either art or cards is that the item gets to a buyer in one piece. If someone is buying an item for a friend and wants it to arrive looking all shiny and new then I will very happily use a brand new bubble-lined package. If not I will sometimes use one that I've had things sent to me in. I buy *a lot* of books and it would be churlish of me not to re-use the packages when I am trying to be careful about my impact on the environment. Also it is another way that I can help to keep my shipping costs down for everyone!

I'm pretty sure there are more things that I will think of that I either do which are considered 'green' and I hope that I will keep finding new ways of making my little business a little more environmentally friendly. Because I like the Earth very much - just as she is.


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