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#PainthousePals Upcycling Projects and Creating Colourful Weaves

with Plymouth University Graduate Clarissa Collins

18 July 2019

It all started with an Instagram post. We first came across self-taught weaver Clarissa Collins when the 20 year-old creator tagged us in one of her beautiful images. The Plymouth College of Art graduate has always been interested in textiles and interiors, so when it was time to develop her final year project, she knew she wanted to focused on more hands-on work.

The result is Citify - a collection of brightly coloured weaves and upcycled furniture created using natural and sustainable products. “I wanted to show that interior products that get thrown away and dumped in back lanes can be revived and made into a trendy, statement piece of furniture,” said Clarissa about using Painthouse colours for her upcycling projects that bring vintage furniture to life.

We sat down with the talented Clarissa to find out more about her craft.

Tell us a bit about you and how you got into weaving?  

I bought a loom years ago but never really used it until my final major project came around. I’ve always loved textiles and anything crafty and creative so I thought I’d give it a go!

You just finished your degree at Plymouth College of Art. What was the course like? And how did you decide about what to create for your degree show?

I’ve just completed the Interior Decoration, Design and Styling course. I decided to take this degree as I had and still have no idea what exactly I want to go into, I just knew I loved art, interiors and fashion.

My style is very eclectic. I love to check out the charity shops and search Facebook Marketplace for quirky furniture and then either completely reinvent it or keep it in its untouched form. This is what fueled my degree show project where I made a collection of upcycled furniture and sustainable weaves called Citify.

You focus very much on creating with sustainability in mind. Why is that important to you?

I think being part of Generation Z has really impacted me as a designer. Seeing how much design can either destroy or revive the planet has made me focus on my own ethics as a creator.

It’s hard to find resources that do not damage the environment, especially paints. Finding out Painthouse was near zero VOC made the paint perfect for my furniture upcycling projects. Also, the colour range is lush!

Upcycling projects using Painthouse paints

How important is paint when decorating accessories and furniture for your upcycling projects? How do you think colour can bring to life old furniture and accessories?

Being a creator with a drive for upcycling, I think it is extremely important to try and reuse as much as you can. Paint can completely change a piece of furniture to make it trendy again, but it can also define your personality and style and show this through your interior. Everyone is painting everything grey and I think if they had a look at the Painthouse colour pallets they could really make their homes look individual and funky!  

Which Painthouse colours did you choose for the chairs and why? How did you find them to use in your upcycling projects?

I struggled choosing the colours as I literally wanted to buy every single one (probably will still do this)! However, I decided on Erin and Leo as they were the perfect match for my project. The paints were so easy to use and have such a smooth, matte finish and are pretty much an exact match to the colour on my laptop screen!  

The delivery was quick and even the packaging is fabulous. I absolutely love the Paint Pal samples and so does my eight month old niece. She is around quite a lot and it’s great that the paint has no dangerous fumes for her to breathe in.

What’s next for you?

I am going to continue weaving for my Instagram page and painting anything I can get my hands on. Other than that, I would love to go into a job involving interior styling, gift design or social media. 

Have you used Painthouse for your upcycling projects? We love putting the spotlight on our community and hearing your feedback. If you think that your story belongs on our blog, slide into our DMs and tell us more on Instagram @mypainthouse

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