ANNE BAAN - VAN DIJK
Hi I’m Anne Baan – van Dijk from Alenna Creative Studio. I live in The Hague, The Netherlands with my lovely husband and two cats. I am a fiber artist making home decoration and accessories, using different mediums like embroidery, macrame, and weaving.
‘Alenna’ is a combination of my own name and the word ‘alana’, which means ‘beauty’ but also ‘a new beginning’. It’s the perfect name for what I do: I create beauty using secondhand or recycled materials as much as possible. All the fabric I use for my embroidery for example is bought in secondhand/thrift shops. Of course it’s not always possible to use reused materials, like embroidery hoops. But when I use materials that would otherwise have ended up in the garbage, I’m giving them another life, a ‘new beginning’. I want to show that you can create beauty without always having to buy new stuff. Of course it does limit my options sometimes, that’s why I like to let the materials I have or see in thrift shops inspire me, and even everyday things that can be seen as garbage. I have this idea to make hanging vases, and I want to use empty pasta sauce bottles and spice jars for this. Another example is that I take embroidery hoops that are crooked – therefore not very useful for embroidery – and use them for wall hangings. Before I throw anything out, I try to think: how can I use this in another way?