Monday, 12 August 2013

The Craft to Inspire

Jim Melin inspiring us all
Last Friday, the second talk in the series of 5-9 talks brought together a bunch of committed crafters and artists, who spend the few free hours of their busy days making and creating beautiful things and an audience, excited to hear about how they do it. And that's what the 5-9 talks, co-organized by ReFound Belfast and FairEnough Blog, are all about; inspiring people. Isn't it true that we often don't achieve the really amazing things during working hours, but afterwards, once we get home, once we can do what we really want? I'm sure many of you have a 5-9 passion of your own. So last Friday, the very talented craftspeople Sue Cathcart, Alison Lowry and Jim Melin showed us how and why they sacrifice so much of their free time for their art.

Derry Walls by Mr. Papers

Besides being an outreach officer for the Ulster Museum, Sue Cathcart is the face behind the eccentric Mr. Papers who appears on lots of hilarious and distinctly Northern Irish Greeting Cards. Made out of old pages of the Belfast Telegraph, Mr. Papers cards are - like most of Sue's craft - wholly recycled. Sue doesn't just make cards though, she can fashion almost anything from paper, including beautiful statues and figurines. Head over to Mr. Papers' website to find out more!

Triptych of Life
Next up was Alison Lowry, who, next to raising three kids, somehow finds time to make the most stunning glass art. Alison is inspired by her Irish heritage and the female craft of lace-making and sowing that runs in her family. In her piece Triptych of Life, she manages to capture the fragility and delicacy of an Irish lace christening gown in rigid glass. Alison shared a great deal about her techniques in creating these pieces and she also teaches classes where you can try your hand at making beautiful glass pieces or learn about pate de verre.

a wall made out of pallets by Jim Melin
Lastly, Jim Melin took us on a tour de force of his incredibly varied and inspiring work. Employed as a teacher during the day, Jim uses his free time to literally make everything out of anything! A mural out of bottle tops, a wall out of old pallets, a tree out of books... you name it, he's probably made it. Jim doesn't see rubbish as rubbish... he sees endless possibilities. He also can't stick to one art form... most recently, he's even tried his hand at welding. You can buy his rustic and beautifully industrial furniture pieces at ReFound Belfast.

I think it's not an exaggeration to say that we all left with lots of ideas blooming in our mind, inspired by having heard people talk about their passion... I have to say, I can't wait for the next one...

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