24 January 2011

Crafty idea

Upcycling is a word I'm hearing more and more, although it doesn't seem to have made its way into the Oxford English Dictionnaire yet - at least not the free online version anyway. Never fear, Wikipedia is always on hand to come to the rescue in times of missing popular culture references crises; indeed here you'll find that upcycling is defined as: the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. In other words, it just goes to show that one man's trash really is another man's treasure.

As if to prove this, an upcoming exhibition at the Royal Exchange Craft Shop sees up-and-coming contemporary craft makers showing and selling homewares, jewellery and accessories inspired by upcycling. The special commissions are by students on the MA in Design at MMU and include Catherine Chester, whose intricate and interesting earrings (pictured) are made from recycled watch components. There will also be pieces for sale by established makers and local craftspeople, so if you didn't even know the Royal Exchange had a craft shop, this gives you the perfect opportunity to bob along and check it out.

The Upcycled show launches with a special preview 12-3pm on Saturday 5 February and then runs until Thursday 31 March, with a special free workshop event on Saturday 5 March. It is part of the Take Stock project which the lovely Craft Shop ladies, Rachael and Gail, are running in conjunction with The Crafts Council. More info can be found on the website, blog, Facebook and Twitter, and you can expect a review here once it's all underway.

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