Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day series - Tanis Alexis

Last, but definitely not least, is our very own Tanis Alexis! She is our team treasure, and the reason why we have all come together as a team in the first place.
Tanis is a self taught artist from Vancouver. I love her shop announcement where she describes herself and her shop like this:
"generating good vibes, enjoying earthly pleasures, earth friendly, recycled, reused & re-loved, accessible art for everyone"

"In celebration of all things Earth"

What makes your shop, art or craft eco-conscious and how do you incorporate this awareness into your shop and studio?

'A majority of my inspiration comes from my love affair with Mother Nature, so most of what I create and make is derived from a deep respect of our earth. I also feel a strong urge to heighten others’ awareness about our impact on this little planet of ours.
All of my printed matter is on FSC certified papers and from an eco-friendly, low impact printer. (Printed in Canada!)
I tend to consistently challenge myself with a limited budget for new supplies, thus I revert to my super stash of reclaimed, salvaged, recycled and thrifted supplies and materials. This affords me to create fresh, new and unique pieces from a limited supply of goods.
I come from a low-income, artistic family, so early on in my life I inherited an eye for a great second-hand score, an innovative imagination, a supply of recycled or re-used goods, and a big concern for the environment.
I continue to make my love for the planet one of my main motives in business. From my vintage Italian sewing machine (found free!), the box of salvaged walnut hardwood scraps (dumpster diving at a work construction site.), to the giant bag of wool sweater scraps under my sewing table (rescued from a fellow etsian!)'

Do you use recycled packaging and/or materials?

'Always. I use post-consumer recycled content packaging for shipments; keep all invoices, bills and receipts in electronic form, and consistently resource for alternative and friendly packaging options.
Did you know cellophane materials are biodegradable? I didn’t either!'

Do you use organic supplies/materials?

'I try to do my best with organic materials, but it isn’t always as cost-efficient or available. I hope with time and demand that these supplies and materials become more accessible to the everyday artist.
I am always sure to eat an organic apple a day though. *wink*'

Do you use fair trade supplies/materials?

'I try to support fair trade as much as possible, but again just like organic supplies; sometimes availability is limited to me. I do hope that the demand for organic and fair-trade supplies and materials evolves into a bigger business for all the mainstream market.
I also make sure to purchase from local independent businesses specializing in recycled, re-used and reclaimed items. There is a lot of inspiration in other peoples ‘garbage’.'

Do you practice a traditional craft on the verge of extinction? Please explain where this craft comes from and how old it is etc. a little background description.

'I am self-taught in the wonderful world of wet felting. Wet felt is one of the first textiles known to man, it pre-dates woven cloth and spun cottons and is a wonderfully simple, eco-friendly and sustainable practice. Wet felt is the combination of wool fibres, water and agitation. I can create felt fabric textiles as well as 3-dimensional pieces like felted vessels and plush creatures using these low-impact and natural materials. It is a deeply satisfying and inspiring art form that I continue to explore and experiment with.'

Thank-you Tanis. I think that you offer one of the most precious contributions to our journey in protecting and respecting our environment - your obvious deep love and passion for our planet is truly an inspiration.

Thank-you to everyone featured in this series, who generously shared their recycling and eco-conscious ideas with the rest of the team.

This feature was prepared for you by Morgen of Inkyspider textile designs and Kootsac re-usable bulk food bags.


Laura Bucci said...

Tanis you are quite multi-talented. Really beautiful bowl, beautiful colours. Just wondering, what does FSC stand for?

Thanks. Laura.

tanisalexis said...

Thank you so much for saying so Laura. :) that's sweet of you.

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council.
copied from their website, FSC is an international not-for-profit membership-based organization that brings people together to find solutions to the problems created by bad forestry practices and to reward good forest management.

Ele said...

Wow! Free sewing machine? That's even better than the $15 I paid for my antique machine at the Sally Ann in Montreal. :)

Thanks for the inspiration as always Tanis! The jellyfish print is a hit with my sweetie; reminds him of BC.

Will have to check out the FSC.

Cheryl said...

It is lovely to come onto a blog where someone is truly considering and caring about mother earth. The bowl is beautiful. You artwork a credit.
Using recycled materials etc is wonderful, I just wish there were more people like you.

Thank you for dropping by my blog.

tanisalexis said...

hi ele! :)
yes a free italian post-war sewing machine- she is a beautiful friend. haha. I need to get her tuned up soon. So glad that the jellyfish reminds you both of the west coast. Joy!!xo!

hi cheryl-thank you so much for commenting and saying such nice things. That's so nice of you! Sending my very best to you. xo!