When the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced that it was deaccessioning part of its textile collection, artist Robert Fontenot was on the scene. He hit up three separate auctions and acquired 50 pieces, almost half of the items the museum was getting rid of. The resulting work is sometimes arty, sometimes functional, and all beautiful! He embroiders the accession number into each finished piece.
The project is still a work in progress, and I just love this quote from his artist’s statement: “Although each item has not yet been used, each item can have a use.” Yes! I think that can apply to materials in a much larger sense, and his work is a fantastic reminder that old pieces can take on a whole new life with just a little bit of love.
Want to get your upcycle on? Thrift stores and even the back of your closet are full of textiles that can take on a whole new life! Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Check out Kelly’s tutorial on turning an old shirt into a draft catcher.
- Add the cover of a damaged book into the mix, and you can make your own upcycled portfolio and easel.
- Julie has some great tips for giving a new life to old afghans.
- Over at Craftstylish, you can learn how to turn second hand fabric into a cute pyramid bag.
- Got a closet full of old jeans? Leslie shows you how to turn old denim into a cute market tote.
- Chica and Joe show you how to turn old bridesmaid dresses into chair covers and a tablecloth.
You can check out more of Fontenot’s amazing textile work at the Recycle LACMA blog to get some inspiraton. For more of his work, take a peek over at Dictionary of Earthly Delights.
So, seamsters and seamstresses, I know you guys have done some awesome fabric upcycling of your own. Tell us all about it in the comments!