Climate change has become a major issue for many artists, and reducing their carbon footprint is on the agenda.
Worsley based mixed media artist, Rachael Monks also known as ‘CraftedbyMonks’ spoke about how she uses recycled and upcycled materials to do her bit for the environment.
Monks’ creates a variety of eclectic artisan creations, ranging from pyrography portraits and wooden sculptures to wreaths and organic cotton washcloths.
Rachael Monks, 41, wife, and stay at home mum said: “I’ve always been really crafty and a bit artistic. I just enjoy making things out of anything really.
“I took art when I started college and the art teacher that we had took us on a trip to Deansgate Locks to draw. I tried drawing the locks and it didn’t come out right at all.
“The art teacher came over and said ‘why did you take art if you can’t draw?’ and that completely threw me. I quit my art class and I never went back again.
“Then maybe 3, 4 years ago I bought a pyrography pen just to earn a little bit of money, it went from nothing to something”.
Monks hates the idea of things going into landfill so she tries to stick to recycled and environmentally friendly materials whenever possible.
“If I use acrylic yarn, I use stuff that’s destined for landfill, people will send me big tangles of acrylic yarn and then I will untangle it all and turn it into a little poncho for a child or a hat.
“I also do pyrography portraits and sculptures. All the wood that I use is either from local tree pruning’s or I will get it from arborists, so the wood isn’t going to waste”.
According to the Wood Recyclers Association, the amount of wood waste in the UK has increased to 3.98 million tonnes in 2019 alone, showing the impact waste can have on the environment.
With Christmas approaching, her latest creations include a Christmas wreath made from artificial flowers and recycled Christmas trees found at local charity shops.
Monks said, “Some of the foliage that I use on it is actually old Christmas trees I’ve bought from the charity shop.
“I will take them apart and put it onto my wreaths, instead of it being thrown away. A lot of them are in really bad condition and couldn’t be possibly used as Christmas trees”.
In the future, Rachel is planning on taking a florist course with the hopes of starting her own florists where she can also sell her wood sculptures and carvings.
Anyone who would like to support Rachael can do so by purchasing her creations from her Facebook page or commissioning a custom art piece.