Archive for April, 2011

Arts Shows wind down – but Arts Workshops still to come!


sampling of the recycled arts still on display

The end of April is near, and that means The RE Store’s Recycled Arts & Fashion shows are coming to a close as well.  We’ve had a tremendous time – so many great art and functional art pieces and trash fashions were made – and we hope you were inspired and entertained too!  If you are finding yourself still craving more, but not sure where to turn – never fear!  We have at least a few more days to view all the galleries (two more weeks at Seattle’s Blowing Sands Gallery) and we still have a plethora of Recycled Arts workshops for you to put that inspiration to use:

  • You still have time to add to the Collective Junk Sculpture at Whatcom Museum’s Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) – until April 30th
  • Also, this Saturday you can help clean Locust Beach in Bellingham AND  create impromptu art with the findings in our Litter into Art: Beach Cleanup and Art Installation: 10am-1pm
  • Create art dolls from common household junk with WA State Arts Commission Artist, Diane Kurzyna, aka Ruby Reusable in our Seattle workshop May 21st:  Trash Fairies, Kitchen Goddesses, and Garbage Monsters
  • and back by popular demand – the Salvage Bride workshop with the creative newlywed, Rachel Levien, will be happening May 28th in Seattle as well.  She will show you how to find and transform previously used materials into everything from cake stands to candelabras.

Find out more information here about all of these Arts related events and workshops – and keep the creativity going!

Photo credits:  Luci Lytle, Eugenie Simpson, Graham Schodda, Tristan Francis, Thor Myhre, Michelle de la Vega, and Tracy Hanlin Mohr.

Posted in: Recycled art and trash fashion, Stories about people, Things you never knew about The RE Store

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Trash Fashion, a Sushi restaurant, & Japanese relief efforts

Miyabi Kimono - designed by Chako

Miyabi Kimono - designed by Chako - made entirely out of food packaging waste from her sushi restaurant

What do you get when you combine a very creative Japanese woman with trash from her sushi restaurant and a devastating trifecta catastrophe in her homeland? The answer: high quality trash fashion designs and relief efforts for the earth quake victims of the Tohoku region in Japan.

Hisako Ishikura, known as Chako, has been living in the U.S.A. since1999. She founded a sushi restaurant, Miyabi Sushi, in the South Seattle area. Her passions in reusing her waste were jump-started when she modeled one of Robin Worley aka Rayona Visqueen’s designs at The RE Store’s 2005 Trash Fashion Show. Inspired, she created her first piece, the Miyabi Kimono, for the 2006 show at The RE Store in Ballard. She has now made over a dozen ensembles, mostly created with Asian product packaging and trash.

Tofu Wedding Dress designed by Chako

Tofu Wedding Dress designed by Chako - used tofu containers make up 90% of this design

Chako has hosted trash fashion shows and Asian cultural events at her sushi restaurant on Southcenter Parkway, including live Sumi painting. Check out the auction for her donated Sumi Dragon painting to the 10th Annual Recycled Arts and Fashion Show.

Helping Back Home

The earthquake, tsunami and radiation breach that took place on Mar 11, 2011 has moved Chako to raise funds for relief efforts in the Tohoku region. She is working with local businesses, including The RE Store, to get collection boxes placed in strategic locations and at events. Donation boxes will be available at the Seattle and Bellingham Trash Fashion Shows.

Contact Chako for more information via email at

Check out The RE Store’s Trash Fashion Show videos on youtube or photo galleries through Flickr.

What have you been making out of trash?

Posted in: Green business, Recycled art and trash fashion, Stories about people

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Recycled Arts Gallery Opening – artist’s point of view

A successful and fun Seattle Recycled Arts Gallery Opening happened this past weekend at Blowing Sands Studio.  The artwork was creatively hung by Marybeth Barr, and melodic sounds came from our resident RE Store DJ, Tim O’Neil.  Many of the artists were on hand to celebrate and answer questions.  For one artist’s point of view, check out Cheri Kopp’s latest blog entry here.  The show will be up through the remainder of April – swing by Blowing Sands to see this great show!

Posted in: Recycled art and trash fashion, Stories about people

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Illuminating recycled art and design with style

Alana Coleman's lamps

Works by Alana Coleman, displayed in The RE Store's Recycled Arts & Fashion Show

Guest post by Alana Coleman, artist, designer and bright shining light

I have always loved the old gas outdoor street lamps the kind you see in Europe. But I didn’t have a yard so I decided to create one I could use inside my home. I found some old style light fixtures in an antique shop and went home to make my own indoor gas style post lamp. It turned out so beautifully that a friend suggested I create and sell them as a business.

Recycled parts were used to create an antique-looking gas light originally because I discovered all the lights I wanted to create were antique and needed to be constructed from old reused lighting parts. My focus did not begin with being a green business.

Semi Horn by Alana Coleman

"Semi Horn" made from metal semi horn and Lamp parts, glass shades

So what started out to be a home lamp redesign project to create a post light for inside my home grew into a small lighting business and then morphed to include garden art and other imaginative items, based off of reclaimed pieces and parts.

I started doing The RE Store Bellingham’s lighting window in 2009. I wanted to show what could be created by mixing odd and ends with old lighting parts, inspire people to reuse old lighting instead of buying mass production new fixtures, and to sell my art, and repair services. So on a gray rainy Bellingham day sparkling lamps, elegant fixtures and garden art entice passerby’s to enter The RE Store to look closer at the glittering lights, get ideas for their projects and absorb the warmth within.

"A Leg Up" lamp by Alana Coleman

"A Leg Up" lamp by Alana Coleman

I redesign and rearrange parts to create new lighting and invent new vessels for lights to live in through the recycling of old lighting and found objects. I love that I’m dedicating my time and vision to creating a greener world. I’ve found my passion!

Posted in: Green business, Recycled art and trash fashion, Stories about people

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