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Filtering by Tag: upcycle

Grafter: Frederique Morrel

LeAnn Stephenson


Hi Everyone, welcome back to my Grafters series. If you missed the two previous posts I featured Shannon South of reMade USA and Carolina Fontoura Alzaga. Today I would like to introduce you to Frederique Morrel.


I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of taxidermy. It just seems a bit gross and gory. But that was before I discovered Frederique Morrel˙s marvelous work. Her sense of humor gets me initially, and then the upcycling element or "decycling," as she puts it, grabs my attention next. I so enjoy her work. It makes me giggle and stand in awe. She's truly an original!


Vintage tapestries are gathered by family and friends to fit fiberglass taxidermy molds that have been injected with expanding foam. Realistic details such as teeth, tongue, hooves and ears are finished with resin or latex and then airbrushed. Real antlers, discovered by her "horny" husband, are fixed to the head and then the entire mold is covered with the vintage tapestries.


The special ingredients and materials she uses tell stories of simple and ideal happiness. These enchanting heirlooms have elevated taxidermy to a new level and I would love to have one of her works in any part of my home! Hope you are as taken with her as I am!


This is Frederique Morrel.  She began this quest after being troubled by the fact that her grandmother's needlework was discarded when she passed away. Ever since, she has been obsessed with the idea of making them come back to life, obsessed with the redemption of her grandmother's ardent work.




And this is Aaron Levin.  He is the guardian of the Frederique Morrel brand. He is often on the lookout for rare tapestries.  And together this power couple has taken on the task of re-enchanting the world. And, in my opinion, the stories told through these marvelous works of art have more than accomplished that goal.


Every piece is one-of-a-kind.



Meet Tony and Eva.

Images courtesy Frederique Morrel.

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Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest

LeAnn Stephenson



Unfortunately, I just learned of this a few moments ago and the entry deadline is today but, I had to let you know about a great event shared with me by a reader after reading today's Grafter post. Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest, to quote the reader that shared this with me," This is where young grafters are at work!"

According to their web page the Rodeo Austin's Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest gives students the chance to revitalize recycled items to create a work of art, a functional piece or anything else that showcases innovation through re-used materials.

Here are a few of the contest details:

•  Eligibility: Open to any Texas student 5-18 years of age. No school or organization affiliation required.
•  Individual Divisions: 5-8 years of age, 9-13 & 14-18
•  Team Divisions: 14-18 years of age, minimum of 2 or maximum of 6 students per team
•  Entry fee: $10 per entry
•  Entry deadline: February 15, 2011

The entries will be displayed March 24th from 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM. I'll have to get back with everyone about the location.



 Photos courtesy Rodeo Austin and Rodeo Austin's Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest

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Grafter: Carolina Fontoura Alzaga

LeAnn Stephenson



If you missed my first post on my new Grafter series featuring those folks that have a talent for making something out of nothing, no biggy, you can go back and read it laterLast week I featured Shannon South of reMade USA and today I would like to introduce you to Carolina Fontoura Alzaga a  multidisciplinary artist with a penchant for re-purposing castoff materials.

Carolina Fontoura Alzaga upcycled lighting designs are a step above the rest. At first glance I thought that maybe one of the components looked a little bit like a bicycle rim and then slowly I started to realize that the beads were not beads but bike chains! Inspired by Victorian chandeliers, DIY culture and bikes, the bike chain chandeliers designed and made by Carolina start out as anything but artistic but end up exquisite works of art.



She combines the elegance of a Victorian age with discarded bike parts resulting in a stellar example of grafter art, as well as upcycling done right.



If you are a Grafter or know of someone who is please get in touch with links and photos of your creations.

Photos courtesy Carolina Fontoura Alzaga and Re-Nest.

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Grafter: Shannon South

LeAnn Stephenson



In the English language we have a several descriptive expressions to suggest a talent for making something out of nothing; you know, those people who can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and turn convention on its ear.  In Italian the phrase is creare qualcosa dal nulla.

In the urban dictionary these folks are referred to as grafters and are defined as follows: A Grafter is a person who sets his stall out and proceeds to market and trade with whatever currency is available . . . a creative person who is capable of turning a blank canvas into a masterpiece . . .  a free enterprise, a freelance entrepreneur, a freedom fighter who lives to work.  A Grafter controls his own destiny. 

The honorable profession of grafting is a way of life. To be a grafter you need to be self-motivated, a go-getter.  Well, as luck (and a lot of snooping around on the web) would have it, I have found a lot of these go-getters and decided to start a weekly post called Grafter to showcase these marvelously talented people and their work.  Today I would like to introduce you to Shannon South the artisan and brainchild behind reMade USA.

reMade USA is a design company founded by Shannon, that upcycles used materials to make one-of-a-kind accessories. She says her mission is to create beautiful, long-lasting, well-made products that positively impact the environment, our users and our makers. All products are hand-crafted in her studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.


This is her marvelous Doily Pendant Lamp



"Every bag we make at reMade USA is made by hand," says South.  And she not kidding - You've got to check out this extremely edited-down photo journal that tracks the steps taken to make this amazing bag below.  The amount of work that went into making this bag exhausts me just to look at!



You can become a fan on Shannon's Facebook and check out tweets on her Twitter, too!

If you are a Grafter or know of someone who is please get in touch with links and photos of your creations.

Photos courtesy Shannon South, reMade USA and Inhabitat.

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