vintage plastic beads, still dirty
vintage plastic beads after 18 washes, almost clean
glass beads, almost clean after 12 washes
As you know SOIL is al about recycling, restyling and reusing. So I always try to buy my materials thrifted, from someone second hand, from a leftover stock .. anything that crosses my path and I see potential in. What you never see in my work is how much time and work recycling can be. Washing all the fabrics, ironing them, cleaning all materials and lots of washing by hand. Here’s a little idea of what comes with recycling beads.
I felt very lucky to be able to buy a sport bag full of different beads. These come from a day care centre for the (mentally) disabled. These are old, used a lot and very dirty. Very very dirty. And besides dirty, not sorted. So first it took me two, to three days to sort all the beads. There were large wooden beads and lots of small ones, glass beads and vintage plastic beads. After sorting I started washing. The plastic ones were the dirtiest ones. These took me over 20 washes to get them all clean!!! The glass beads weren’t too dirty, so they were clean after 12 washes (but here I used hot boiled water too, which I couldn’t with the plastic ones).
glass beads, clean and dry
So the plastic and glass beads are done. But now the big work is starting. The wooden beads! One jar of large beads and a box full of little ones.. I guess this will take the whole week. Recycling is good, I do it with love and care but it’s a lot of work.