|Use and Re-use. Photo: Brian Tunks|
On a consultancy to Malawi my partner purchased this 'artefact' made up of old coca-cola and fanta bottle tops. It was found in Lilongwe (the capital city) and was actually being used as a cash box by a street vendor. All the pieces are wired together, quite ingeniously actually, and they've created a great lidded piece from just an everyday item. I reflected on this and thought if we would even consider making something like this here in Australia? Have we lost touch with the ability to see the longevity and practicality of products to which our parents and grandparents would thriftily give a second life?
Think of your grandfather's tool shed for example, mine had mason jars attached to racks by their lids. These would be filled with screws and nails and be clearly visible and neatly organised. My grandmother would grow violets and fruit in her large garden and make the best preserves you'd ever tasted. They didn't necessarily have access to the web or the most modern domestic appliances, but they certainly had no shortage of gumption. Maybe that's our problem... in a world filled with instant gratification possibly this is something that's missing. Possibly that's why I love making objects which have multiple uses...and look good too!