What I do is a so-called “sustainable decoration” and it’s not some sort of utopia but the trend is ever growing nowadays. In my opinion creating or improving a place with recycled objects is totally applicable, without worsening or deteriorating the style and look of your home. Each piece of furniture has its own history, which leads to its essence. Through many years of usage your grandmother’s armchair, that was just there for ages, can tell us episodes of life… but sometimes we live too much in a hurry to appreciate this kind of heritage. Therefore, we just prefer buying new things instead of giving value to old ones.
Nevertheless we can update our home and adapt what we already have to a modern look personalizing it until it becomes unique. This is how you can be the designer of your own furniture! How many times did we decide to buy something new, even though in the hidden corners of our house there were indeed objects that could be recycled? When you get more awareness of designing (or re-designing), the seed of transformation is already growing inside your mind and suddenly you start to see the new potential you can give to old things using different techniques of renovation and decorative painting.
The program of the workshops I organize fit any adult person without previous experiences, who wants to learn different decorative techniques, which can be used for the recycling of furniture and objects. In my studio the students can use a large number of tools and materials to carry out the exercises, furthermore they can bring and recycle their furniture with my help and assistance. My classes usually start with a small initiation to the world of do-it-yourself, an explanation of chalk and milk drawings and how to create stylish effects like stripping, washing, stenciling and so on, waxing and varnishing just as getting a basic knowledge of colors.
The exercises used for developing and increasing creativity are resources for innovative thinking, creating something new and finding new solutions. In the workshop, these exercises are carried out first on wooden panels so that the students can test the techniques on a material, which is similar to their furniture. We use a palette of 43 different colors, so that the students get used to working with a big variety of shades losing the fear of using colors and learning how to create different finishes. They can also make trials and change the design as often as they want. I’m really impressed by the enthusiasm and affection, my students show towards every new exercise and the huge satisfaction they feel when seeing their results.
The more workshops I organize, the more positive things I see in this activity: one is the growing need of renewing, updating, decorating at a low cost, respecting the environment. Another one is creative thinking, which brings about a lot of benefits, no matter if they are mental, emotional or sentimental: when students bring objects of their families, which they want to renew, their whole sensitivity is involved in this emotional process of creating a new design.
To learn something new is a privilege and creativity is contagious, it donates us positivity. On the other hand we also have to mention that in a society based on the concepts of “fast & rush”, a creative activity helps us to improve our social and mental life.
El Taller de Anne - Benahavís