Cel­e­brat­ing the up­cy­cler within us

South Waikato News - - Property - AN­ABELA REA

God bless the up­cy­clers, we may need them more than ever.

In our live-fast, buy-now, just­get-a-new-one, cul­ture of con­sumerism, up­cy­cling of­fers a shift in val­ues. It’s also a pretty fun hobby or cre­ative out­let.

The prac­tice of re­pur­pos­ing and trans­form­ing an un­wanted ob­ject, up­cy­cling is a hit - just check Pin­ter­est or In­sta­gram for proof.

Many of us have tried our hand at up­cy­cling with­out even re­al­is­ing we were en vogue.

Ever nicked a chair off some­one’s lawn dur­ing the in­or­ganic col­lec­tion, painted it and re-used?

Have you ever turned a pal­let box into a cof­fee ta­ble in the back yard? Hung a tire as a swing? Con­grat­u­la­tions, you have up­cy­cled.

There are dif­fer­ent lev­els of up­cy­cling. Cos­metic up­cy­cling, which deals with trans­form­ing de­sign el­e­ments, such as re­paint­ing, up­hol­ster­ing, or adding new fit­tings, or re-us­ing ma­te­ri­als like tim­ber.

Then there’s se­ri­ous up­cy­cling, in which you cre­ate a whole new ob­ject out of un­re­lated parts.

‘‘Many of us have tried our hand at up­cy­cling with­out even re­al­is­ing we were en vogue. ’’ An­abela Rea

For the novice in­te­rior up­cy­cler, wooden chairs and cof­fee ta­bles are the eas­i­est start­ing points, mov­ing on to cab­i­nets, din­ing suites and up­hol­stered chairs or beds.

If you have DIY, weld­ing or elec­tri­cal skills, you can con­sider mov­ing on into light­ing and more dif­fi­cult projects. ‘‘ ‘‘Peo­ple have also up­cy­cled al­ready made ob­jects like cof­fee ta­bles. One of the artists has made a cof­fee ta­ble out of an old crank shaft from a car and a mi­crowave plate.‘‘

‘‘I’m a lit­tle bit of a mag­pie and a col­lect-aholic,’’ said Sally Lush, artist and man­ager of the Arts Cen­tre in He­lensville, Auck­land.

‘‘What I love is that some­thing that has been once loved and no longer suits that owner any­more and has been aban­doned, is given a new life by the artist.

‘‘Then it hope­fully goes to a new home where it’s loved again. That’s a theme that quite of­ten turns up in my own art­work, giv­ing new life to old ob­jects or chang­ing ob­jects some­how.’’

We can’t ar­gue that many old ob­jects couldn’t see new and bet­ter days when plied with a bit of TLC. Sounds like it’s about time to head to the op shop.


Arm­chair from The Bold And The Beau­ti­ful, an ex­hi­bi­tion of up­cy­cled fur­ni­ture in 2016 at De­pot Artspace.

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