Gifted with an innate sense of color but minimal formal art training, Chris Gustin found her creative calling in a weaving class in college many years ago. Since taking early retirement from her real job as a journalist, she plies her woven wares to an ecologically minded public. Her unique rugs can be found in homes around the world but she is doubly proud of finding a new use for industry "scrap" which she reclaims to create her one-of-a-kind Recycled Rugs.
Chris's rugs are carried in shops from Alaska to Brooklyn, from Minneapolis to Alabama,
and at the Indiana State Museum gift shop and the Indianapolis International Airport. Many of her customers find her through her
Chris does not take part in many art shows; instead she invites people to her studio where they may see her collection of looms,
spinning wheels and yarn, and learn about her recycling and the weaving
process. When she's not weaving, she builds web sites for other artists or
works in her perennial, vegetable, meditation and weaver's gardens.
In 2008, Chris was juried into the state-sponsored Indiana Artisan program for her woven rugs.
In 2009, her woven clothing, shawls, scarves and wall hangings were also
juried in to the program.
Chris has been a weaver for over 40 years, and a production weaver for more than 25 years, creating tens of
thousands of rugs, placemats, throws, scarves and other items using materials recycled from the textile industry. These components are new, but considered waste to the big mills. Chris' recycling efforts repurpose about a ton of "scrap" per year and have earned her recognition from environmental, "green" and waste management groups.
In 2009, her studio was featured in a "Weekly
Special" segment on WTIU, a PBS station in Bloomington.
It was all because of that quilt. In 1974, long before recycling was politically correct, my husband and I went to the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington. There was a patchwork "crazy quilt" on display that read "Recycle and Re-use." Seeing that quilt made me think about what I could do to help the environment and that has had a life-long impact on me and my weaving.
Through the years, in order to find materials that I could recycle into my weaving, I have cultivated diverse sources: thrift shops, sock factories, bedding manufacturers, weaving mills. My efforts turn industry excess into contemporary and functional art.
At Homestead Weaving Studio, we believe the future of the planet is in our hands. We practice recycling in our personal lives and in our business. We specialize in making rugs from recycled material, helping the environment by keeping
reusable goods out of landfills.
Her weaving can be seen on the cover of the 2010 Indiana Travel Guide.
She was recently featured in an article in "Emerging Horizons - Accessible
Travel News," "AllGREEN" magazine, "Humana Active Outlook" Magazine,
"Craft's Report," "Natural Home" and "Midwest Living" magazines. "Weaver's
Friend" ran an article focusing on her weaving and her plastic bag rugs were
featured in "Everyday Cheapskate."
Chris also takes part in the Brown
County Studio and Garden Tour held the last weekend of June. Chris works in her studio at 6285 Hamilton Creek Road, Columbus, IN 47201, and accepts commissions.