A Bit About Me
Hi, I'm Anna! I've been working as a freelance artist for 18 years now .... I can't believe it's been that long!!
I'm a mixed media artist, working in lots of mediums, but my main specialisation is recycling and specifically recycled plastics.
I do lots of things and like many artists I have a portfolio practise; I make work to sell, create one off pieces, teach workshops, deliver residencies, give talks and much more besides. No week is ever the same. My favourite bit is experimenting, designing and coming up with new ideas and one off pieces.
A Bit of History
I trained in Fine Art Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art in the 90’s; this was where my fascination with reusing and recycling began. I created installation based artwork using all sorts of mediums from plastic bags and rusty metal to mud and blood. My work at the time explored the interaction between man and nature, and though there have been many changes along the way, the interest in how we interact with our environment has always been key to what I do.
I set up my first business, 'Pulpwork' in 1995, making bowls, frames and wall pieces using paper pulp. After a few years teaching in FE, I returned to my creative ventures, setting up Bags2riches in 2001, making jewellery lighting and artwork from recycled plastics. I still use recycled plastics in my artwork, thankfully there are less plastic bags now, but there's still lots of packaging and bottles; my latest Nocean range responds to this. I love to explore lots of different techniques and over the years have diversified, using different metals, wire and recycled elements, as well as the felt and textile techniques I learnt way back in the 90s.
My 'Nocean' Jewellery Range explores my use of recycled plastics. I use recycled plastic bottles to create this range colouring it with my own specialist techniques. The bottles are given to me by members of the local community and all the recycling is done in house.
I love the bold colours created and have been exploring this along with form, creating striking contemporary designs.
I love wearing my 'Nocean' jewellery, it's so light and easy to wear and always gets commented on when i wear it out.
A note for Vegans: I use a variety of bottles, including plastic milk bottles ... my stance is environmental, ie. if there's waste, I'll use it ... If you would rather your jewellery was made from recycled bags, then let me know.
Shop here: Nocean Jewellery
Out of Line
Out of Line designs are made from etched aluminium with an acrylic infill. The designs are from my own illustrations which explore the environment and industrial heritage.
The range evolved from a heritage project based on Stanton Ironworks in Ilkeston. I loved this project and the pieces that I made, so began to draw again, creating this versatile range from my illustrations.
The aluminium isn't recycled but my latest wall art pieces are, they use recycled steel panels.
To ensure this product is more eco friendly I use salt based etching solutions and work out ways to use up any waste produced.
Shop Here: Out of Line
I set up Bags2riches in 2001, with the aim of transforming everyday waste in to beautiful art. I came up with innovative ways to use recycled plastic bags creating all sorts of jewellery, lighting and artwork.
In 2015 I decided to share this technique with a Fair Trade company in India and they now work with this producing their own ranges of recycled jewellery.
I still produce one offs using recycled polythene, often combined with silver or recycled cans.
Where to begin!! I create large scale sculptures and artwork, generally as a community based project, but occassionally just because there's something I want to make. I've made such a variety of art work with different projects over the years and this is a key part of my practise.
If you're interested in commissioning me to work with your school or community group, or simply to make a large scale piece for you do e.mail me for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more on my
The Making House
I'm based at The Making House in Burton on Trent in the Midlands. The Making House is my home and my studio. I run workshops from here and have a regular Craft Club and have a lovely supportive group of people around me ... I love this place and the little creative community we've developed!