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Freitag, 6. Mai 2016

An Interview with Susie from Handy-with-scissors (english version)


Scissors-stone-paper meets Handy-with-scissors from Australia or a talk from bottlecap-dragonflygirl to bottlecap-flowergirl.
Susie started her IG-account back in January 2016 and has rocked IG since then with her colourful backgrounds, funny characters and creative projects made straight from the recycling bin.
She first shows you a flat lay of materials and then leaves you to guess what could be made from them. The final characters and ideas are revealed later that day and are often presented as funny Flipagrams, which make me, want to smile and play with them.
Susie is forever trying to get her son Finn (4) to get involved in the fun but often he has his own ideas, like the time he invented a clever sprinkler system using a hose and an elephant watering can!

The name of your IG-account is handywithscissors:  Are scissors your favourite tool to do stuff?
Look, I'm not going to lie; I do have a LOT of scissors. I have small scissors for little projects with Finn, big ones for cutting card and a super special pair that are only for cutting wool and yarn which I guard like a wolf!
I also really like hot glue guns because I am incredibly impatient and can never wait for regular glue to dry. Also because I tend to work really fast and never really know what I am making when I start out, the hot glue lets me try out lots of different ideas before I settle on the final projects I present.

You started you're IG-account back in January 2016 with Blackboard tins. Can you tell us a thing or a two about repurpose stuff for creating?
For me repurposing things is about a few things. Firstly, I think we as a generation produce crazy amounts of waste. I am definitely not excluded from this and sometimes at the end of the day it really gets to me to see just how much has ended up in the recycling and garbage bin. I think it is really Important to teach kids that when you throw something away, it doesn’t just disappear and that really there is no such place as ‘away’, it all ends up somewhere. Reusing and repurposing things is one way of minimising this effect on the environment and helps kids see the value of things that would other wise become waste.

The second thing I love about repurposing is teaching kids to see beyond the surface value of things and use their imagination to think about what things ‘could’ be, rather than what they are. Some days I think I am failing in trying to engage Finn in my crazy art projects and that he would rather just watch TV, and then he will turn around and pick up an empty packet and stun me with some wild and wonderful idea of what he thinks we should turn it into.
People talk a lot these days about ‘future proofing’ our kids, setting them up for a future with jobs and careers that haven’t event been invented yet. Maybe it sounds grandiose but what better way to prepare them, that to foster an imagination that is willing and able to uncover original solutions and see potential and inspiration where others may not.

"Fun, simple and sustainable ideas to inspire even the most reluctant mini maker" is written on top of your account. What is your favourite idea from the last month?
It’s no secret that I love a good old egg carton. There is NOTHING you cannot make from an egg carton ;)
I recently thought I had run out of ideas, you know that feeling where you swear you will never have another creative idea your life? Well, I picked up an egg carton and kind of stared at it for a long time and something funny happened; I started to see faces, looooots of faces! Then I got out my scissors and started cutting and along came Eggbert and Elizeggbeth. Two hilarious characters that were lurking in the carton, just waiting to be discovered. A coat of paint and a straw later and they were ready to hit the stage with a romantic waltz to the tune of ‘Love is in the air’ (as seen on IG)


You are Kids and Families Coordinator (on maternity leave at the moment) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Australia. Have you got any advice for us, what works for a group of kids to get started with crafting?
I think with children and art, it’s all about asking the right questions. Often parents can get intimidated when taking children to museums because they feel they will not know the answers should the children start to ask them questions about the artworks. The best thing about art though and especially contemporary art, is that there is no one way and no wrong way to respond to it.
Start just by looking… what can you see? What colours are in the artwork? What might it be made of? Who/what is in the picture/artwork and what are they doing? What might they be saying to each other? Where have they come from? Where are they going? How does the artwork make you feel?  If this artwork was a dance move, what would that be? Etc. etc.
Once kids have the freedom to discover the art in their own ways it is an easy step to get them creating their own back in our studios. We also try very hard to make the art making we do at the museum more about the process and experience rather than the outcome. We encourage kids and families to work collaboratively rather than be driven to produce something ‘perfect’.

I've got Sydney in mind.... How do the culture, climate and nature influence your work?
You know that’s a funny question because my Sister in law is Danish and she recently told me that my IG account was very ‘Sydney’ and I had to ask her what that meant! They sky here is very big and very blue and because Sydney gets a lot of rain it is quite fertile and green. I think I am drawn to bright colours because they just seem to fit into the landscape here. We also do lots of painting outdoors and are probably messier and more adventurous than we would be if we had to do it indoors (although I am forever getting in trouble for getting paint on the deck!) I think Australians in general also have a pretty good sense of humour. In thinking about it, I have always tried to see the funny side of things and who said recycling cant be hilarious!


Where readers can found you: Instagram  „handywithscissors“ and…maybe a blog coming soon? (Pending my second born sleeping more than 1.5 hours at a time through the night!)

Dear Susie
Thank you very much for answering my questions and this amazing pictures! Looking forward to see more of your work (it made me smile while writing this post) online and hopefully on a bigger screen soon (blog)!


pictures: © Susie Rugg, Sydney

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