FEATURED ARTIST: Lamara Mikheidze

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Name: Lamara Mikheidze

Location: Montreal, Quebec (originally from Kuwait city, Kuwait)

Astrological Sign: Aries




How’d you get your start in recycled art?

It started with my Gran, who was a very crafty person, she taught me how to make needle point panels and embroider at a very early age. My parents both drew and painted, played musical instruments as well. In the environment of this hodgepodge of art, crafts, and music I grew to love anything people spend time making. I developed a deep connection to the way people touched an item and transferred some of them into it.

I decided to study fashion design, and I began working as a designer for a Montreal based company. I loved sewing, fabrics, and creating what I saw as moveable sculpture during my down time both at work and home…and soon a line of tote bags made from found fabrics was born. I had collected so many needle point panels over the years from thrift stores and friends, that I had quite a huge pile at home. I decided to combine them into my new found hobby of making totes and a whole new love came to life. The new Bags were super colorful, cheerful, artistic, and bright as well as functional. I loved that and was not sure others would. I was intrigued by the textures, the stories and the places each bag had been before and I was having fun making them too.


How has recycled art transformed your life?

I have met many new people, explored many new techniques, learned so much from how often people throw things away that they could use and quite possibly love again.

What is your process to create recycled art, does an idea or concept just come to you, or do you adopt a form of mechanical thinking?

I am inspired by fabrics and colors. I love all things bright so I am usually drawn to graphic designs and bright colors. Usually a style begins with me sitting on my floor in my room surrounded by mountains of fabric and trim. Hours later I have multiple bags, pillow cushions, and even place mats cut and ready to go.


Where and how did you get your inspiration?
I find a lot of my inspiration comes from designer fashion. I look to the colors, the use of textures, and tend to mix them in a way that works with my eclectic background. In the Middle East we love crazy style and lots of bling, some would say we are a bit tacky, but I love that more is actually more. I like to keep my eye busy.

What is the craziest or most unique and unusual or controversial art piece you created from recycled material into art and why?
Silly as it seems, a pillow cushion I had in my house. It was made from about 65 pcs of fabric and trim in a 22×22″ square. I wanted something that looked as though it sat in the desert in a Bedouin tent forever. It had primitive embroidery, fringes, faux suede, so much color, it is to this day, one of my favorite things I have made.


Any advice to those who are considering creating art from recycled materials?

If you love the process and the creation, it no longer becomes about anything else.


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