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.
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 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!)