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Teabag folding by Laurette van der Merwe
of Colour Creations
25 April 2009 (market rained out) - moved to 30 May 2009
The origins of many arts and crafts are lost in folklore, but almost certainly, most were born as productive pastimes that did not just keep willing hands busy, but also produced items used for both everyday life and pure decoration.
Laurette van der Merwe epitomises the spirit of these arts and crafts, having learned and practised many of them. Consequently, within her prolific output one will find many sorts of crafty things, each made according to the essence of these craft forms. And one knows that each item contains more than a healthy investment of both passion and time.
She numbers amongst the craft skills she exercises or teaches routinely, crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery, scrapbooking, photography, poetry, calligraphy, quilling, marbling, dry embossing, punch art, pin pricking, copper embossing, parchment craft, iris folding and teabag folding.
Indeed, teabag folding. And for those who want to discover more about this unusual and highly decorative pastime, Laurette will be demonstrating the how-to's at Stall 166 at the next Country Craft Market on 25 April.
Laurette tells us that teabag folding is a craft developed by a Dutch woman who while drinking tea one day, started folding (Origami style) the colourful papers in which Dutch teabags are supplied. But since not everyone has access to such teabag papers, Laurette used her designing skills to produce her own versions that she now uses and sells (sans teabag).
The intriguing folded pictures produced can be displayed as artworks in their own right, or used to embellish greetings cards, book covers, and a million other things.
Laurette is very nearly a born-and-bred Helderberger, having moved here from Cape Town at the tender age of 2. She has lived here ever since, now with husband, Willie and Weimeraner dog, Anouk.
“I took Ballet from the age of 7 years”, she tells, “and also had an extremely successful career in Athletics until 1972.” She qualified as a modern dance teacher and rhythmic gymnastic coach and taught in these fields for 30 years. “But all through these 30 years I was extremely interested in all sorts of crafts”, she adds, “thanks largely to my paternal grandmother who was a great teacher and inspiration to me.” So when the right time came, she gave in gracefully to her other passion, the arts and crafts. Under the banner of Colour Creations, she now happily operates from her home workshop.
“My inspiration comes from the colours that surround us in life like the flowers, birds, the sea, the sunsets etc,” explains Laurette. “My favourite places are the wool shops and material shops, which excite me so much with their variety of textures and colours”. Little wonder then that she chose the name Colour Creations for her craft enterprise.
Laurette calls herself a freeform fibre artist, a name used by those who employ techniques such as crocheting, knitting and embroidery to produce works of art. As a member of the International Freeform Fibre Arts Guild, in 2007 she participated as the sole South African, in a project to produce a collection of artworks with the theme Through Our Eyes. The works of the 35 participants selected from the worldwide membership of the Guild were also included in a book with the same name. A poem written by the artist accompanies each piece shown. Almost certainly, Laurette will have her piece Through My Eyes on display at her demonstration.
Laurette was asked to start a South African and Helderberg Branch of this Guild and invites interested persons to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0722783732.
Visitors to Laurette's stall 166 at the Country Craft Market of 25 April will be treated to a colourful and exceptional display of craft at its best. With Laurette's demonstration of teabag folding and her enthusiastic explanations of all her other craft works, it is a must for all those with an appreciation for handwork of great variety and quality.
Last Updated 11 October 2014 10:42