Inspired by my sister’s brooch made of fishing tackle and various jewellry items, these brooches are mixed media with buttons, found stones, and pipe pieces on safety pins. I made them because I needed to help myself recover after a carpal tunnel release operation on my left hand, and I had been given some putty to squeeze which was ok for strengthening but not for delicate movements. I decided to make these treasure brooches, as fiddly and dry seemed good for the recovering sensation, and my spirit, with the added bonus of using up all those buttons and broken earrings!!
I started making used tea bag bowls for recycling tea bags into compost. I wanted them to be pleasing aesthetically and to give a clear message so that families and the public knew exactly where to put the tea bags. Some aspects of the making also involve recycled materials, in this case the clay. I use a traditional English method of slip and sgraffito. I can vary the size according to whether it is for public or domestic use. The bowls give a traditional and secure feeling when situated next to a kettle in a kitchen or on a café counter.
The tea bag caddy is a natural extension to the used tea bag bowls. These are all individually made, using white earthenware or porcelain slabs and wooden lid with brass screws. I rescued the wood that had been discarded by a furniture maker, and the transfers discarded by David Birch from The London Pottery. The wooden lid is satisfying to use and is warm and welcoming to touch and provides ritual to the tea making that has been lost with the advent of tea bags and perhaps less use of the traditional teapot.
I like reusing and recycling, and I enjoy being an urban beachcomber and home tourist, seeing my locality anew each day. It is the satisfaction and serendipity of finding something that inspires me. Visiting charity shops, finding pre-loved teapots, and then adding ceramic transfer collage using words rhyming with tea, also found by reading or listening to the radio, suggest feelings or stories told while pursuing the ritual of drinking tea. : – )