Vendor Spotlight: Sarah Geo Walton
May 3, 2013 by Sanne Stienstra, Operations Manager
Posted in • Vendor Spotlights
To help readers and SCRAP fans learn more about the inspiration and process of creative reuse, we like to feature different Re:Boutique vendors in these short “spotlights.” This one features Sarah Geo Walton, a SCRAP staff member, who makes all kinds of goodies, including earrings, fabric covered buttons, rings, doggie poo bag holders, and dog squeaker toys.
The Re:Boutique is located adjacent to the SCRAP store and is full of work by local reuse artisans: jewelry, glassware, hats, scarves, and a myriad other products made from at least 75% reused or reclaimed materials.
What inspires you to make art from reused materials?
I grew up in the middle of nowhere, with very little money, so I learned to make whatever was available work at a very young age. You should see the houses we lived in; one was made out of railroad ties and the other was two single wide trailers that my dad cut a hole in and built a leaky roof over to make a double wide. We as a nation are taught to buy when really we should be taught to make and create. We become so reliant when we don’t learn that things can be done ourselves.
How do you incorporate creative reuse in your work?
Nearly everything in my life is used. I can honestly say that everything I make is out of 100% recycled material.
Can you describe the process of creating the products you sell in the Re:Boutique and what led to the idea of creation these products?
I am currently on an animal kick. I made these little holders for the bags to clean up after your dog. The ones in the pet stores are so boring. I also made mustache dog toys, because they are funny. I also made some earrings out of leather tidbits in the shape of snakes, foxes and birds. I like to make things I would use. I also like to make things that are fun to look at.
What are the benefits and challenges you experience by working with reused materials, and how does it affect your final product?
I find more satisfaction in making something out of what seems to other people to be useless trash. I guess if I used new stuff my creations might look a little more like something you would buy in a big box store, but where is the fun in that?
Do you have any memorable stories behind your product?
My dog tries to steal the mustache toys every time I make one. It is really hard to get the squeaker in without it squeaking. It is nice to know he likes them, but impossible to explain to him that they aren’t all his.
If you could only work with one reused material for the rest of your crafting career, what would it be any why?
One of the things I love about using reclaimed material is that it makes all kinds of crafting affordable for me. I am a lover of variety. I can’t chose. That is like asking me to smell the same smell for the rest of my life. That would stink.
If you were to create a sculpture of yourself, what material would you be primarily made of?
What advice would you give to people who want to start making things out of reused materials?
Stop thinking and start doing. Allow yourself to make something ugly, terrible and all around bad. Then give it away, throw it away or take it apart and start again.
SCRAP|2915 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.|Portland, OR 97212|503-294-0769