#AgeofReinvention: And the winner is...

In January we launched our first ever #AgeofReinvention competition in collaboration with our friends at Pedlars. Every month we challenged our readers and followers to come up with genius ideas for how they'd reinvent a reclaimed item. We were amazed by the innovation and attention to detail that went into the designs...

  Photo: Dean Hearne

Photo: Dean Hearne

We then sent the vintage item to the inventor with the best idea, so they could bring their design to fruition. The reinvented items were:

Swiss Army Groundsheet to Studio Smock, by Francli Craftwear

"The Swiss army groundsheet's original use was as a military Zeltbahn (shelter-half). This was a simple tent that served double duty as a poncho in the rain. In the spirit of a folding Zeltbahn, combined with our local workwear heritage, we have utilised the whole fabric to design a protective and insulating maker's smock. There was little waste from the canvas – just a handful of scrap.” 

Fireplace Sides to Cooking Set, by Grain & Knot

"For centuries the fireplace has been the heart of the home – a source of heat, light, for cooking on and telling stories around. I’ve turned these oak fireplace sides into a cooking set that can be displayed for all to see.The set comprises a cooking spoon, spatula, salad servers and four eating spoons, and I’ve charred the ends to represent the start of their journey. The set is intended for everyday use, to make family recipes with and to be passed down through generations.” 

Metal Storage Box to Lightbox, by Jessica Found It

“The box is the set for a miniature landscape scene – think a theatre designers' maquette. The design is inspired by my rural journey to the workshop and the Disney-like behaviour of nesting birds carrying long ribbons of foliage. Ninety percent of the materials are recycled or leftovers from my usual work. I’ve also fitted a lamp into the top of the box, which lights up the entire scene. Copper clouds and birds are suspended as if floating and they’re made from bits of beaten copper water tank, which I’ve polished to a bright shine and the eggs I’ve moulded in clay before copper leafing and allowing to verdigris for a true eggy look!” 

Wooden Spools to Garden Tools, by AB Garden Designs

“I’m a garden designer and obsessed with plants of every variety. I’m always looking for objects that can be reused and upcycled for another purpose so I was very excited to turn these old wooden spools and box into useful garden tools and a trug to carry them in.” 

Rajastani Truck Sign to Skateboard, by Nudie Boards

"We make skateboards from solid hardwoods, hand-shaped to give it a surfboard-like profile, keeping it strong while giving it a little flex. When the truck sign arrived we found it had some splits in the wood. We stripped it back, repairing any damage we found, while not hiding it, so it would show the character of the wood from the many journeys it had been on. On the underside we laser-etched a mandala flower to celebrate its reincarnation as a creator of new journeys. We then added Paris Trucks, Cadillac Bearings and Seismic Avalon Clear Blue wheels. It’s too unique and a bit too split for riding, so it will likely find a home on someone’s wall. It’s inspired us to hunt out more characterful (stronger) timbers that have been on their own journeys to create one-off rideable art boards." 

Swiss Army Jacket to Utility Quilt, by Forest & Found

“The Swiss Army Officer's Jacket is known for its durability and strength. With this in mind we decided to deconstruct the jacket and to piece it into a Utility Quilt.Traditionally quilts were made with whatever fabric people had to hand, which was most often old clothing. The quilt is deigned to be hard wearing, lightweight and insulating. It rolls up into a compact and transportable unit with the coat buttons and epaulettes re-used as fastenings. Every last part of the jacket has been sewn into a patchwork so that nothing goes to waste.The hand quilting and 100% cotton insulting layer has transformed the jacket into an heirloom to be handed down from one adventurer to another.” 

We displayed the reinventions at the awesome Good Life Experience – a festival that celebrates culture, food and the outdoors, founded by Cerys Matthews and Charlie Gladstone. Festival goers voted for their favourite designs in their droves. We've counted the votes and are thrilled to announce that the winning reinvention and crafter is...

-- Studio Smock, by Francli Craftwear --

Francli had this to say: "We’re both really flattered to have won the Age of Reinvention project. It’s the first time we’ve worked with zero-waste construction techniques so it proved an interesting challenge but the end result was really satisfying. We’re both grateful to Pedlars and Ernest Journal for giving us the opportunity to explore new ways of working."

If you didn't get to see the Age of Reinvention designs at The Good Life Experience this year, worry not – they will be on display at the Pedlars store in London later in the year (dates to be confirmed).

We would like to say a big thanks to all of you who got involved in Age of Reinvention this year, to Pedlars for providing the beautiful vintage items and to The Good Life Experience for hosting our awesome display.

Watch this space for Age of Reinvention 2016!