Interview with Leslie Sirag of the Creative Block!

Etsy shops: The Creative Block at and Findings at

What draws you to using trashion materials?
I've used recycled materials as long as I can remember--and I'm 64, so that's a while. I started using fabric scraps & bits of other stuff to dress my dolls, moved into recycling clothing and jewelry for costumes, and went on from there. We didn't have much money when I was young (not that we have now!) so I learned to use cardboard boxes, upholstery and carpet samples, old jeans (to patch, embroider, or make into something else), old curtains, unraveled sweaters, and whatever else came my way. My fascination with rusty objects, I think, started years later, when I was doing a lot of weaving and felting, and shows up in pieces like my Junkyard Angel: Skating on Thin Ice, which combines a rusty spring (from a car, I think), waxed linen cord (macrame), an old button for a face and 2 for skates, and some wonderful mother of pearl hands which double as wings. Can you tell I like mixing media?

What trashion materials do you use?
I'm pretty overwhelmed with getting all my latest batches of materials up at Findings, so haven't had time for much of my own work lately, but I'm repurposing some earring parts into charms for ElenaMary's flower charm swap and have pulled a couple of junk watches to use as cases for something or other. I'm also considering combining some of my new vintage metal settings with some scrap glass and seeing if I can fuse something interesting. I've also recently been reworking old, sometimes felted, sweaters, and have sold a couple of pieces at craft fairs but don't have any on The Creative Block yet.

What are your inspirations?
Some of the dolls there began with old stuff, though--Sister Mary Inocencia started with a sprinkler fitting that reminded me of a nun's cowl, and Emma from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is built on a textile bobbin, as is Claims Related to Bast, while August was inspired by a bunch of keychains in the shape of boots. You never know what will trigger something new.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
Right now I'm having a lot of fun listing my latest finds at Findings, sometimes with some ideas about what I think they might become, and of course saving a few pieces for my own use if I ever have time again.

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