Monday, November 1, 2010

Introducing Verity Lougoon

Introducing Knotty Lady Verity Lougoon, an interview with Tamara Marwood.

Verity Lougoon began her sustainable textile career in 2000 when she sought recycled clothing from op shops to sell at the local craft market. From there she went on to complete a Diploma of Studio Textiles and Design at RMIT University. She now uses hand screenprinting and experimental process to create designs inspired by the Australian landscape.

TM: When I attended your first workshop on sustainable textiles my mind nearly exploded with the depth of processes, chemicals, water and waste used in the textile industry! My heart sunk shocked at the environmental impact and where to start to make changes. Sustainability is core to your work - can you share how you make sustainability happen for you and your work as a textile artist?

VL: When creating any new product I look at the lifecycle of the product. Where the materials come from, what processes I use to where the product ends up at the end of it's life.

I source environmentally friendly materials such as hemp, bamboo and organic cotton. When screen printing I use non-toxic water based print pastes and also limit the number of colours in my designs to limit the amount of water wasted washing off screens.

In constructing a product I also make sure there is limited use of unnecessary trims or embellishments and try to use shapes such as circles, squares or rectangles for sewing. These shapes can be more easily recycled at the end of the products life, unless it is biodegradable.

Any packaging I use is also created from recycled paper which is handmade locally at Watermark Papermill.

When people begin to realise the environmental implications of their crafts practise they often become overwhelmed and find the problem too big to deal with. My advice to anyone wanting to "green" their crafts practise is too start just by making one small change on your next project, whether it be changing the material you use or the technique and then just keep making changes one project at a time and eventually you will get there.

TM: What is it about Knotties that can complement your artistic practice?

VL: I love Knotty Ladies, not only is it a great place to find inspiration for projects and learn from other's it's a great way to make new friends. I love that Knotty Ladies encourages eco crafts and making things for charity makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

TM: What projects are you working on right now?

VL: Currently I am working on some tote bags made from vintage tea towels. I am also about to commence work for a new exhibition with a fellow Knotty Lady exploring different ways to recycle denim.

You can visit Verity's website here and blog here

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