Artist Deborah Allan is behind Re-creART design business – reclaiming, repurposing and reusing to create jewellery, hair accessories and homeware. Here, as we approach the end of Second-hand September, the slow eco fashion advocate shares her story
I started making the bottle top jewellery originally to go with a fancy dress for a party – couldn’t find what l was looking for so l made some! That was back in 2009. I’ve been into repurposing, recycling, and reusing for as long back as l can remember, way back when l used to go to jumble sales with friends on a Saturday afternoon with tables stacked high with piles of clothes – finding funky items was like finding treasure.
When Covid-19 struck in 2020 I was working in a special educational needs school, and care homes, running art sessions for health and wellbeing.
Things changed with almost immediate effect. It became obvious that it was time for me to learn new skills and processes.
Scary as it was to lose my income in one fell swoop, I knew that I was not alone and took some solace in that.
I had been making homewares, jewellery and accessories using recycling materials for quite some time, but this was not my principal source of income – it was a side-line (not the bread and butter).
So it was with some trepidation that I opened up an online shop (via an existing well-known craft merchant) and then there was a whole new world to get my head around.
It’s been a bumpy ride and, obviously, I’m still learning and hoping to expand my small business further.
I have the view that I’m not changing anything but am trying to help to change people’s personal perception of repurposing, recycling etc – being part of something larger than anyone of us individually.
I’m doing various art and craft fairs – maybe I’ll see you there!
Re.creArt can be found at the ‘Absolutely Artisan’, Artists and Makers Shop in the Royal Arcade, Norwich, (organised by the Nart2 Collective) from October 25 to 31. Current stockists in Norwich include Sustainability Station on Exchange Street, The Jade Tree on Elm Hill and Re-Source on Timber Hill