Monday, February 15, 2016

Love, love, love: EcoWorks in New Haven, CT

Nothing gets me more motivated to create than a room filled with raw material and colorful junk. When you walk through the doors of EcoWorks in New Haven, Connecticut, you cannot help but be inspired by the shelves, drawers, bins,and tables filled to the brim with fabric, string, scraps, plastic bits, and sparkle. It really is an art supply wonderland! 
EcoWorks in New Haven, Connecticut
EcoWorks is the only creative reuse center in Connecticut and it was founded by two dynamic, creative, and eco-minded women: Sherill Baldwin and Lisa Spetrini. Sherill and Lisa developed a very special space that provides low cost materials to artists, educators, and creative-minded people in the community. The materials are donated from both individuals and industry. Each brought to the table their own talents and experiences in environmental protection and the arts that made for a perfect team. Together, they lead the charge to divert materials from the waste stream through creative reuse. 
Lisa Spetrini and Sherill Baldwin of EcoWorks
supplies galore
I can tell you from first hand digging that there really is something for everyone there. Whether you knit, sew, collage, paint, design jewelry, sculpt, or dabble in any kind of art, you'll likely uncover some useful materials in their ever changing stock of supplies. 
thread count
games and paper by the stack
laminate samples
buckets o' wood
grab 'n' go ecotubes
twine for days
rocks and shells
a little bit of everything
much to explore
I didn't come looking for anything in particular, but left with a big box of inspirational treasures.  
defiance components 
flip off
glass beads
Busy Blocks
synthetic leather samples
I already put many of my purchases to use. I used the synthetic leather samples as backing material for a new line of brooches and some of the beads have found their way into my necklaces. 
I used the synthetic leather scraps to back my new brooches.
upcycled brooches (backed in synthetic leather samples)
In addition to offering supplies, EcoWorks also showcases local Connecticut artists in their reBoutique. You can find a little bit of everything there: clothing, jewelry, decorative arts, and furniture. All items sold at the reBoutique are made up of at least 85% reclaimed or scrap material. Stay tuned! Soon you will be able to find Twitch and Whiskers in the reBoutique!
ornaments and hats
beautiful embellishments
collage - multimedia work
game board journal
EcoWorks also has a calendar of fun events that are open to the public. Upcoming events include workshops on knitting, t-shirt design and paper making basics. In the future, Sherill and Lisa hope to expand store hours and the kinds of events they offer. 
Make something at EcoWorks.
Want in on the fun? Swing by EcoWorks at 262 State Street in New Haven, Connecticut. They are open on Thursdays from 1 PM to 7 PM and on Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM. EcoWorks is funded thanks to several community grants but depend heavily on public support. Every donation and purchase you make helps to contribute to a greener and more creative Connecticut. 
EcoWorks hours
Go. Shop. Be inspired and spread the word. For more information, visit EcoWorks' website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. It is bound to become one of your favorite local spots!
You never know what you'll find at EcoWorks!
Twitch and Whiskers is in the process of booking shows for our spring/summer calendar. Stay tuned! For updates, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
lenticular necklaces mounted on vintage playing cards
protractor necklace
Fun 'n' Games rings


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