Student’s “up-cycling” workshops inspire

Tessa Hewlett creates beautiful, practical furniture and furnishings from unwanted objects that would otherwise be cast aside – and she has been inspiring and teaching others how to do the same.

In her final year of the Bachelor of Design (Communication), Tessa breathed new life into discarded crates and pallets, and created soft furnishings from fabrics gifted to her by the Otago Hospice Shop. From quilts to reupholstered chairs, lamps and footstools, planter box seats, a bar and a table with its own built-in chillybin, Tessa’s venture, Dad & Me, formed part of her final project.

As well as an exhibition and the sale of her work at the Otago Hospice Shop, with some of the proceeds going to the charity store, Tessa led public workshops teaching people how to make their own “up-cycled” bar stools. “I want to encourage people and show them that this is something they can do themselves in their own ways,” she explains. “In fact, many people are already up-cycling in various ways without really realising it. It’s something I know I’ll be doing forever.”