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Q&A: Heath Nash of Our Workshop on upcycled festive lights 

by | Dec 5, 2019

The Langa-based studio, Our Workshop, made these incredible festive season lights for the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Our Workshop is a free, shared space where young people get together to explore their creativity. The shopping precinct used 200 local artists and crafters, including the team from Our Workshop, to create sustainable and responsible decorative installations. We asked founder of Our Workshop, Heath Nash, about the making process of the Colour Extravaganza Upcycled Plastic Chandeliers, now installed at the Watershed:

How many recycled bottles did it take to make these lights?

We used 2800 bottles to create two big (5 x 4 metres) light installations. We sourced the bottles from Oasis Association in Claremont. This organisation creates sustainable employment for people with intellectual disability, and generates income to subsidise its various support offerings. Oasis Recycling is one of their projects.  Each flower is made from between 3 and 7 bottles.

How long did this take?

It took our team 4 months to put these together.

Once you had collected the bottles, what needed to happen?

The bottles are household waste, so we had to wash them to remove the residue detergents and food waste.  Since we couldn’t collect all the bottles at once we had to redo the process in cycles: collect, wash, make…

Tell us about the design process. 

We spent about a week prototyping. It was an interesting and beautiful experience as we co-designed. Once we were happy with a few prototypes, we invited the client to decide on the final design with us. The flowers are rich in detail. Each one, has an inner and an outer flower. When we had made the flowers, for space reasons, we moved to a parking area at the V&A Waterfront where we thread the flowers together and onto strapping. These strings of flowers were then attached to steel structures and hoisted to the roof of the Watershed.

 

  •  Image credits: Main image Mark Williams, V&A Waterfront, others from Heath Nash 

 

 

 

 

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