Trash to treasures

WHERE others see rubbish; South Freo local Charlotte Kenyon sees hidden beauty.

It’s an outlook that’s helped Kenyon realise her dream of having her own business Cirqlate, which sells jewellery and other goods made from upcycled materials.

“Something becomes something else: it’s life cycle is continued,” Kenyon says.

“It’s a circulation of an artist’s work and new ideas.

“There are so many things you might think useless, but you can find a purpose for them.”

Charlotte Kenyon. Photos supplied

Charlotte began a music degree at the WA Academy of Performing Arts and studied jewellery making, but Cupid intervened and Kenyon ended up in Dresden, Germany.

The fashionable city is a centre for artisans and is environmentally friendly. It suited Kenyon to a tee.

Initially Kenyon made jewellery to send home as gifts for friends and family, and the idea was sown for a business selling ethically-made products.

Few would guess her beautiful and colourful pendants, earrings and bracelets were originally prosaic objects like ring-pulls.

Most are sourced from a friend with a coco whip store at Fremantle Markets.

“She uses a lot of coconut cream and keeps all the ring-pulls for me,” Kenyon says.

With infinite patience she winds slender cord around the metal, transforming it into something beautiful.

Upcycle magic

Kenyon also makes colourful reusable shopping bags by fusing together discarded plastic bags to make them stronger.

Despite tough economic times Cirqlate has grown, and in less than a year the business has become an outlet for five other artists, all making items from up-cycled materials.

One artist conjures reusable mugs from milk cartons sourced from local cafes: “And she sells them back to them,” Kenyon says.

Clocks made from old bike parts, rugs and mats fashioned from shredded sheets and wallets created from tetra packs are just some of the items being sold on Cirqulate’s website and at local market stalls, including the South Fremantle Growers’ Market.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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