Oil Painting on the cutting mat

You turned my painting into a handbag?

What a fun project, and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a wet Bank Holiday Monday.

We’d been to Poole a few weeks previously. I’d bought a number of vintage oil paintings in ornate frames, with the intention of upcycling the frames into chalkboards.

That just left one question unanswered. What should I do with the canvas paintings themselves?

I’m loathe to discard anything that’s potentially useful. Various thoughts went through my head, including using them on the front of a vintage bedside cabinet.

Then I recollected an article that I’d read several months ago, about an artist, Leslie Oschmann, using old canvas paintings to create a range of stunning bespoke handbags.

Could Rebecca and I create something similar, using the Oschmann bags as our inspiration? Would her humble Janome sewing machine be able to cope?

The answer was a resounding yes on both counts.

We opted for a very simple design on our first attempt. Our choice was driven largely by expediency, to minimise wastage in the initial conceptual phase, by making best usage of our limited supply of materials.

We chose a sunflower canvas, that immediately lent itself to being upcycled into a simple envelope evening clutch bag.

The exuberant design on the outside is paired with a simple cotton canvas lining.

Wearable Art_Clutchbag_Back
Wearable art clutch bag. Back view with simple cotton canvas lining

A strip of waste material was used to create a simple closing mechanism.

Wearable Art Clutchbag Back View Simple Closing
Wearable Art_Clutchbag_Back-View_Simple_ Closing

Raw edges completed the organic look that we wanted to create.

Wearable Art_Clutchbag_Front_View
Wearable art clutch bag. Front view

What do you think of the finished result, as an example of wearable art? It’s available for sale.

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