When I shop at vintage stores, I usually pass over any stained, moldy-looking items. Not so for Leeds, United Kingdom's Mr. Finch, a self-taught textile artist who recycles these very same unloved fabrics into whimsical works of art depicting stylized flora and fauna.
My main inspirations come from nature and often I return to certain ideas again and again.
Flowers, insects and birds really fascinate me with their amazing life cycles and extraordinary nests and behaviour. British folklore is also so beautifully rich in fabulous stories and warnings and never ceases to be at the heart of what I make.
Shape shifting witches, moon gazing hares and a smartly dressed devil ready to invite you to stray from the path. Humanizing animals with shoes and clothes is something I’ve always done and I imagine them to come alive at night. Getting dressed and helping an elderly shoemaker or the tired housewife.
Mr. Finch focuses almost exclusively on the forgotten materials that no one else wants, saying that
It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work…the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm.
A story sewn in, woven in. Velvet curtains from an old hotel, a threadbare wedding dress and a vintage apron become birds and beasts, looking for new owners and adventures to have. Storytelling creatures for people who are also a little lost, found and forgotten…
Little curled up velveteen rabbits, wide-eyed owls, soft hedgehogs and fairytale mushrooms all play a part in Mr. Finch's imaginative story-world. The range of expression and skilled handiwork is evident in all of Mr. Finch's pieces, giving an uncanny sense that these creatures were once alive.
We love the fact that undesirable fabrics are transformed into something magical and unexpected here. Mr. Finch does have an Etsy shop, but he cautions that his handmade items sell so fast that the shop is often empty. Best place to check for his latest items is his Facebook page, where he alerts followers within 24 hours of the item going on sale. More over at Mr. Finch.