Article by Andrea Krystine
Katcha Bilek has always had a passion for transforming things rather than throwing them away. In her 20's she travelled all over Europe and learned several languages, giving a multi-cultural outlook to her art. In 1999 while living and traveling in a converted fire truck, she began making bags that utilized the leather techniques she had learned during travels to Spain, out of used and readily available inner tubes.
Katcha's current collection, Re-Collect, consists of a series of bags and purses made from used truck inner tubes and old car seatbelts. Each one is handmade and unique- cut and sewn in Katcha's Bristol workshop. In addition to being recycled and collected locally, the materials used act as a wonderful alternative to animal products.
Her creative talent doesn't just end there, Katcha is also quite popular for her recycled art and installations. Here is one of her most recent projects- bike wheel chandeliers:
You can catch a glimpse of one any time at the Hamilton House on Stokes Croft, alongside many beautiful designs by other talented artists.
For more info on Katcha Bilek and her Re-Collect projects, visit re-collect.net