National Recycling are pleased to welcome cardboard craftswoman Becky Hart, also known as TheHandmadeMoon, for an interview…
Hi Becky, would you like to introduce yourself to our audience?
Hi, I live in Devon, in the countryside with my family, which includes 5 children,a partner, a cat and a barmy dog! My background is in social housing management, so totally different from what I do now, which is making and sewing all sorts for my little shop.
Tell us about the history of TheHandmadeMoon?
About 7 years ago I started off making cards, then moved away from that as I found it quite repetitive. I then made cloth dolls and cats, which are a joy to make but do take a long time and a lot of patience. So I moved on to making things that I could pick up and put down when I was busy with my children. I started my shop on Folksy nearly 3 years ago and that provides me with a steady selling platform. I also like to do local fairs to where I live in Devon. For two years I have also participated in Devon Open Studios, where folk can come and see your work in your own studio space, and I have really enjoyed this.
Is it a full time project or something you do in your spare time?
I would say this is very much a part time job, with a view to making it full time! While my children are still young this works for me, but I would like to be able to make more and sell more, who wouldn’t?!
What sort of materials do you use, and what are the best?
I use a lot of cereal boxes as I like the flexibility of the card. I use newspaper for papier-mâché, and often just for the lettering, as I just love different fonts! Cardboard is great for making up templates with, of which I have many and I also re-use cardboard for packaging off my parcels in the post. I have a large stash of unsellable damaged books that I collected from charity shops, I like to use the pages for origami. Oh, and I also like to use driftwood that I collect on beach trips. For me, I find cardboard to be the best material because of its versatility.
Have you always been creative?
I was creative when I was a child and the skills I picked up translated into more practical skills like making clothes and curtain making . I didn’t really ‘make’ until after my youngest child was born, and that came about as a form of therapy after my two daughters had lifesaving surgeries. I realised how being busy with my hands stopped my mind wandering to the dark side….and then my creativity just found a natural channel.
Tell us about some of the things you make, and where you got the ideas from?
I draw my inspiration from the materials I’m using, and what I can make with them. This summer I have really loved making little sailing boats, and I can indulge my love of fabric and paper together in one project. Dioramas are little pieces of artwork which I love to make, again because of my love of using things I have to hand. I like to encorporate familiar characters into these, so the most recent one I have made is inspired by the mice from Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor Of Gloucester – in fact it started life as a small cardboard box and some used cotton reels!
How important do you think it is to recycle paper and cardboard for arts and crafts?
I have a natural inclination for using paper and cardboard in my work. To go and buy materials to then use to make something with, seems very contrived and does not sit comfortably with me. So recycling everyday packaging is very important to me. I’m always looking out for new ideas of what to make, and often trial potential projects with my kids, which we all get a great deal of enjoyment out if.