Tag Archives: reusing

Making it in the Glebe

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“I LOVE MAKING THINGS” says Kathrin von Dehn, a friend who opened her basement workshop—along with many cupboards and drawers—for the first Slow Ottawa profile on sustainable living. The first thing she shows me as we descend the stairs is a recent acquisition in the form of an old wooden chair missing a front leg and all but one of its stretchers. “Isn’t it great?” she enthuses, and I see what she means as I admire its elegant proportions, its warm materials, its signs of use, its brokenness, poise and resilience. Kathrin explains how one of her neighbours recently “just threw it out.” When I ask her about her plans for the chair she says “I dunno, maybe find a stick that will work as a leg.”

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Most of the things in Kathrin’s home are time-worn, and many have been scavenged from familiar places. The proud owner of a dilapidated minivan used mainly for trips out of town, Kathrin likes to navigate her neighbourhood on foot, usually with her two dogs and a kid or two, and always on the lookout for found materials whose lives she can extend through her art. In the well-organized workshop that takes up most of her basement she gathers all kinds of oddments that she can transmute into jewelry, handbags, stationary, wall art, storage boxes…whatever she feels like making today. Continue reading