There’s something to be said about converting trash into home décor accessories — it would help the City become much cleaner. Preeti Maneesh, a resident of Basavanagudi, does just this. She buys garbage from different trash dealers and makes beautiful objects out of them.
She decided to answer her calling two years ago, when she quit her corporate job and plunged full time into art and craft. “I did not see myself making Excel sheets and presentations. I took a sabbatical and started taking a course at a design school. That is what I always wanted to do. Soon, I started to make simple things out of items that are usually discarded,” says Preeti.
Her passion for making things out of trash grew over the years and today, she creates things out of discarded material like wine and beer bottles, cornflake cartons, Cerelac tins etc. “These things are very easy to get and can be recreated at home. I buy trash from newspaper and trash vendors and start working on it. I first clean the items thoroughly and then paint them with acrylic colours. Then starts the process of decorating them with various embellishments — for instance, fabric flowers,” she explains.
She goes on to add that there are various styles that she adheres to while making these home décor pieces. “There are two styles: sometimes, I paint these bottles with bright colours and otherwise, I decorate them with colourful wool. That makes bottles look very attractive and they can be used to decorate the corners of the house. You can keep plants or fresh flowers in them. I have also tried putting small Christmas lights inside them — it is really beautiful and I’ve gifted several such pieces to my friends and family,” she adds.
Not only does she make use of discarded bottles, she also uses other scraps like empty tins and small cartons.
“People generally throw all these things away. But they can be used in more ways than one. The empty cartons can be used as organisers. I clean them, cut them and give them some style, after which I wrap coloured paper on them. After I have done the basics, I start embellishing them with various kinds of accessories which I make myself. Sometimes, I use flowers which I make out of fabric or I use different kinds of embellishments as well,” she explains. The empty tins are painted or wrapped with coloured paper and can be used as pen stands.
Preeti says that she has received a lot of support from her husband and her family and it is because of them that she has been able to pursue her hobby. “My family has been immensely supportive and has helped me take the decision of leaving a lucrative job and concentrate on developing my artistic skills. I am happier now and I am very satisfied with what I am doing. I also have a group of friends who help me collect trash. We swap things; they give me what they don’t require and I return the favour,” she says. Her hobby also inspires her to spread awareness regarding recycling trash and putting it to good use. “I show people what I do with the trash and tell them the procedure, so that they put an end to littering and waste less. If things like these can be made at home, why buy them from outside? I also gift them to my friends and relatives and they are very appreciative,” she sums up. Treena Mukherjee