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Ruth Schmid and QHERE

Recycled bags and accessories

RuthStudio.jpgWhen I moved to Cambridge, ten years ago, I took the opportunity to do full-time what I always enjoyed: making and creating things.

I bought a sturdy sewing machine and started designing and making bags from new PVC tarpaulin, a strong, waterproof, very colourful material.

Later on a holiday in Spain I found a smashing advertising banner in a skip. I packed it in my suitcase and brought it back to Cambridge. That was the time when I started to recycle used materials. The banners I turn into bags and accessories are from the Cambridge Science Festival, the Darwin Festival or from the Cambridge Corn Exchange. I like the fact that each bag I make from banner material is different and unique. ruth schmid 1.jpg

Two years ago I ran out of good quality banners. Looking out for alternatives I found a great new material that is very common in Cambridge – used bicycle inner tubes. It is a great and versatile material to work with. Over time the surface of inner tubes develops a smooth texture like leather. However, they are 100% waterproof, resistant to stains and have a long life.

I continue to hunt for other materials that I can re- or up-cycle. Some time ago a man who saw my inner tube bags in the window of the Cambridge Art Salon brought me several used bright red and orange hot water bottles to recycle. I have not figured out yet how I can best make use of them without buying another sewing machine that can handle such thick rubber material!

For more information on Ruth and QHERE visit her website.

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