Sarah Trobacher Recycled Creations
Meet Sarah Trobacher. She creates the most wonderful things from recycled materials!
“I’ve always been a crafter. Some of my earliest memories are of racing down to the local park for the free summer kids program, building caterpillars from egg cartons and piping or tie dying T-shirts. It was a small town and we learned to make some pretty neat things on a tight budget using basic materials.”
“When I had my own family I began doing Christmas crafts as a way to save money and create some memories and treasures. Since then then I have created many one of a kind Christmas items for family and friends.”
Learning and trying new skills
“Most of my skills have been self-learned over the years. I’m always reading and experimenting with different mediums. I sewed for my children and professionally and earned honorable mention from the B.C. Theatre in 1999 for my costumes in the play “Good Night Disgrace”.
My husband’s family hails from Austria/Europe and I have always been fascinated with Belsnickle and the folklore told at Christmas time. I love the cheeky, chubby Coca-Cola 50’s version, his sack full of toys, his 8 tiny reindeer. That is the Santa I grew up with.”
The Hunt for Materials
“Typically I will sit down in January and make a bunch of different accessories. Dolls, wooden boats, fimo beads, noses, gifts, etc. I try hard to make everything hand crafted so that my pieces will remain one of a kind. My husband carves/whittles many of the wooden objects. I don’t usually use molds, but if I do, I have made it and will only use it 6 times.
I spend a lot of time hunting for old buttons, Christmas lights, chains, bits and pieces of vintage fabric. I love to mix in vintage toys if I am able. An old red farm wagon suddenly becomes filled with toys or has an elf riding it. I don’t usually have to go much farther than my own recycling box to find what I need to make different shapes and armatures’.
I began to turn to clays over fabric with the faces of the dolls I made. Later it became paper Mache. I love the versatility of it. It can be smooth, rough; I can make a pulp, a mash or a strip. If a mistake is made it can be sanded away or added to. I use many different kinds of papers for different effects. I make my own non-toxic paste to work with. It took a couple of months to come up with the recipe.
First an armature is crafted and taped. I will then begin a layering. This will consist of wrapping and smoothing several times. The piece will then need to dry 1-4 weeks, perhaps longer depending on the thickness and size of the project. When it is dry, I sand down any harsh ridges and add another layering, bulking and shaping the whole time.
Treasure are Created
This layering process will be repeated several times. It can take months to do a piece, but several can be worked on simultaneously. Details like a face may take several tiny layers before I am happy with effects. Each piece is then sanded smooth, faces are buffed and the first coat of gesso is applied. From there the painting begins and treasures are created.