The Upcycle Collaboration Project

Ideas can be born out of anywhere. Where a few simple exchanges thrashing out ideas via text or over coffee with fellow creatives turn in to the “Why don’t we make this happen?”

Local Abstract Artist Rachel Williams is the force behind Art in My Garden, an annual, collaborative, one-day art exhibition in the gardens of historic Oakville, Ontario. Founded in 2021 this will be the 3rd year that a growing number of Oakville artists will come together to share their work. This year I will be taking part and showing my own work but Rachel and I also felt it would be fun to create something together, something a little different and out of the ordinary.

Rachel’s work is very abstract and full of texture so let’s combine that with my sense of order and love of pattern. Despite my usual pull to geometrics and graphical designs I could see the potential in developing some of her art into something fabulous and 3-dimensional. Rachel has the knack of collecting interesting furniture from the side of the road, things well loved but that have maybe seen better days. Chatting about one of her recent finds the seed was sown and we had ourselves an upcycle project.

Putting a plan into action

So, how did we do it? Firstly we needed a high resolution image of Secret Garden, a diptych. Elle Bruce’s professional photography skills captured a perfect high resolution image we knew would work well. I then set about digitally manipulating it, blending the 2 canvases seamlessly and creating a workable repeating design that could be transferred onto fabric. We didn’t want to take away the essence of the art and the brush strokes. Art Fabrics based out of Quebec, Canada offer eco-friendly on demand printing, perfect for this type of project. We just had to upload the file then order the exact yardage we needed. The velveteen fabric we chose was printed and on the doorstep within a matter of days and it looked amazing! All the texture of the paint and even the canvas perfectly executed onto fabric.

We picked a coordinating plain green velvet for the back of the chair and the project was then passed into the hands of my highly skilled upholsterer to work his magic. A few short days later what had been a tired, water stained antique pink chair had been transformed into a stunning eye catching statement piece. Now we need to find a room worthy of it!

Top – Original Art
Bottom – Digital Seamless Repeat

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