Wrapped Up


By Susan Lachmann, Photos by Randy Gentry


Thinking of green brings quickly to mind the word “growing.” Growing as in: expanding, reaching, living into new ways, new places; kind of like a vine that just keeps, you know, GOING! This applies well to those of us who cannot stop creating: we find more stuff and make more things and/or we find more things so we make more stuff. Concurrently, and in accordance with both growing and greening, we find an endlessness to what can become something else, how trash can become beauty and how discards can become keepers, once transformed.


Take for example a wad of wires found casually discarded on a building renovation site. What would any right-brainer do but jump for joy? FREE FOUND ART SUPPLIES NOW APPEARING right in the path, as if delivered by the art fairies, all por moi! Being in the conscious habit of carrying a big bag at all times, said wad of wires found a new home instantaneously. It did not matter that there was no immediate use; it only mattered that this tremendous renewable resource was now safely relocated, certain to fulfill it’s destiny in due time. Easily ten years later, probably twelve (but who’s counting), the miracle occurred and recycled telephone wire bracelets were born and given a fine name: Wrapped in a Story Bracelets. Cool people wear them and give them as gifts to other cool people. This includes teenagers, who are apt to reassign the giver a new identity bypassing ‘cool’ and moving right into ‘awesome.’ Transformation is just so green!


Another wiry recycle came about by way of broken jewelry and a few discards. Such materials are seldom trash; rather they are INCIDENTAL ARTWORKS waiting to happen. Following up on an idea seen in a magazine (from a recycle bin, no kidding), wire + beads + a bangle bracelet became a Light Tree. Threading each bead onto wire has become an opportunity for meditation and centering as the minutial craft takes shape. Each is like a prayer spot, a mindfulness moment or a cause to pause with gratitude. Placed in a sunny window, attached to a fan pull-chain, dressing up a Christmas tree or worn as a necklace, they both receive and reflect light. Holding tiny bits of color in my hands and making treasures from discards is oh-so-satisfying and renewing!


Transformation engenders great fascination and inspiration, often leading to new iterations. Many years of dreams and multiple imaginations have now evolved into Laughing One Studios. Homebased in Jonesborough, TN, it’s a creative hot spot offering workshops (e.g. dragon making, plaster face masks, weekly card parties, etc) to support and boost budding arts inventors. Deeply rooted in the belief that creativity is an infinitely sustainable resource, I am hard wired for more! I can hardly wait to find what’s next.


Susan Lachmann is an Artist in Education living in Jonesborough, TN and creating dialy in laughing One studios. You can also catch her radio broadcast, Women On Air four times weekly. See www.facebook.com/womenonair for program schedule to listen live.

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker