Monday, June 20, 2011

Lou's Upcycles

 I recently saw my friend, Lou Leelyn, at a craft show and it occurred to me that I haven't done a featured artist in awhile.  Well here's a small tribute to a fellow artisan who not only creates from un-recyclable materials but also makes a real effort to educate others on how we can reduce our impact on the environment. She holds workshops to raise awareness of environmental issues.  And her blog is a wealth of information.  

Plastics.  A new and important commodity to invest in back in 1967 when "The Graduate" was made. It has since been propelled to essential status.   Products made of plastic could potentially last decades,  yet our main use of them is for inexpensive, single-use items the disposal of which contribute to a multitude of environmental problems.

Lou takes those dog food bags, or the plastic bags you get from Target & Walmart, layers them, and, with a warm iron, fuses them into a textile she can use to create tote bags, hats, cosmetic cases, and even a rain coat.  

Sometimes referred to as trashion, her pieces are unique, colorful, sturdy, and very popular, especially when customers find packaging from their favorite products being used.  If you don't catch her at a local craft show, you can purchase from Lou's Upcycles on Etsy.

In her "spare" time, Lou chairs the board for the Artisans of Western Mass. and is one of several dedicated members working on new ways to promote and market handmade in Western Mass.

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