Pegg has woven rugs from recycled materials for nearly thirty years. She is from Terrace Bay in Ontario. Her shop FiveForty, also carries her line of jewelry as well as a charming collection of hand felted wool cuff bracelets. FiveForty is all about recycling and I loved Pegg's down to earth approach in the telling of her process.
What makes your shop, art or craft eco-conscious and how do you incorporate this awareness into your shop and studio?
'I have two areas in my shop, rugs and jewelry. The rugs and the cuff bracelets are made with all recycled textiles. My rugs are primitive, not finely woven, and I use rag for both warp and weft. A traditional rug uses string of some sort for the warp. My rugs are totally rag, all recycled. I started weaving on a frame loom that my husband put together for me, but I was restricted to the size of the frame, and the height of my ceilings. I wanted an upright tapestry loom so I searched online for used looms. I bought a used loom from a weaver on the west coast of Canada and she took it apart, carefully labeled it, and put it on the Greyhound for me. So my loom too has been recycled, a much more economical way of purchasing a loom. I adapted the loom to weave with rag. My cuffs are made with wool leftover from my weaving process, recycled one more time.'
Do you use recycled packaging and/or materials?
'I always use recycled boxes from my local grocery store to send out my rugs, I do however buy recycled kraft tissue paper to wrap the rugs in. I wouldn't want to put a newly woven rug into a box that held who knows what, without protecting it.
At first I started to buy used textile at thrift shops whenever I went to the closest city. We do not have a thrift shop in out little town. I could not find enough wool sweaters in the shops, so I joined a recyclers group online and posted what I was looking for. Wow, I received answers from all over the world! Imagine the shipping from Italy for containers of wool sweaters? Not practical! I did receive a message to call a man, who said he had what I needed. An angel of a man, he personally delivers my 75 pound bales to the Greyhound for me. I get what I get, sight unseen. Bales of wool sweaters, about half wool, half other fiber, denim jeans, corduroy pants.'
Do you practice a traditional craft? Please explain where this craft comes from and how old it is etc. a little background description.
'I do not know the history on my primitive weaving. I do know when I do craft sales, I always have someone come up and say that they have a rug that their grandma woven in the same way. I did not read about it in a book, I thought about it for years and then tried it.'
Pegg tells me that she was approached a few months ago by a middle school in California who found her on the internet. They are having a Swap o Rama Rama for Earth Day and asked if she would participate. They all bring in used clothing and with the help of some designers, they rework it and then hold a fashion show. Pegg donated a rug to them, either for a prize or for their silent auction. All proceeds go to their local Environmental Museum.
Pegg's blog FiveForty at Home has lot's more of her weaving adventures as well as a few delicious recipes hidden in between. (I am definitely going to try her making her oven 'fried' fish recipe).
This feature has been prepared for you by Morgen of Inkyspider Textile Designs and Kootsac re-usable bulk food bags.