Woman shares passion for reclaiming wool
For The Review, Tidings
The Lake Oswego Women's Coalition will meet for its monthly luncheon program Oct. 16 at The Stafford, 1200 Overlook Drive, Lake Oswego.
Guest speaker will be Heidi Leugers, owner of Reclaimed Wool, a business which has been zero-waste since 1998. She will share her discoveries from two decades of making a living at the intersection of art, design, craft, global markets, waste and creative expression.
Leugers quit a graduate program in art history in 1998 to investigate firsthand her most nagging question of art: What does it mean to make/create/produce/trade art, or anything, in a world drowning in stuff? She started her business working exclusively with post consumer sweaters.
"Sweaters made in the 1980s and early 1990s were vibrant, heavily patterned and abundant along with middle class wealth/opportunity," she writes on her website, reclaimedwool.com. "Thrift stores were full of less fashionable and desirable sweaters."
Leugers recycled the sweaters into a variety of needed household items, like potholders, costers and placemats, ornaments and more.
"I am always exploring and testing the limits of what is art versus what is labor," she says on her website.
"There is an argument to be made that most of human history has been driven by an ethos to get rid of the demands and necessity of labor.
"If we can't do that, then the next best thing is to treat it disrespectfully, like paying non-living wages in domestic or foreign locations, or ignoring the value of the contribution altogether, like caring for children, elderly or disabled family members, cleaning houses or offices, or paying adjunct faculty less than living wages."
Leugers reclaims 99% of all scrap, cuffs, collars, seams, selvages, bits of yarn, felt and fiber, and uses the items to create new items.
"When it comes to sending stuff to landfills, the only trash that exits my studio about every six to seven weeks is a vacuum bag, some thread scraps from the machine sewing and some bits of leather," she writes on her website.
The luncheon program begins with networking at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at noon and the program at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $20 for guests, and $18 for LOWC members. Annual dues, covering programs from September through May, are $10.
The LOWC is a networking group which has been meeting monthly for lunch and an interesting program for more than 25 years.
There is no committee work or fundraising, just an opportunity to meet interesting people and learn about something new. All are welcome to join.
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