vrijdag 26 oktober 2018

New Direction

This blog has been silent for a while, because I'm working on a new blog:


It's about the objects in our daily life, and how we can look at them in a sustainable way. I connect the research to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG12.

maandag 11 november 2013


Next Sunday 17th of November there's a new get-together from Simply Slow. Wool is the theme, and I will contribute. Wool is such a great material, an endless source of inspiration for me! Mae Engelgeer will be there as well,she's a weaver. So come and join a warm evening with food, good company and lots of wool. More info on www.simplyslow.nl 
11 november 2013

dinsdag 22 oktober 2013


My book is published and available! Utensils is a  photo survey that I did in Malawi. I photographed the household of 1 family. All they have, all they need. It's a photo document about the daily life of the largest part of our planet's population. It's also a tribute to improvising, re-use-reduce-recycle and the beauty of handmade. Therefore it adds to the discussion about social design. Reconsidering materials, production and longevity. The book can ordered through mail@renyvanderkamp.nl The price is 17 euro, including postage (in The Netherlands). It's also available at Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum in Amsterdam, and during the Afrikadag, on the 2nd of November which will be in the stunning building of Tropeninstituut, Amsterdam.

dinsdag 20 augustus 2013

Sew and Save VII

Still a source of inspiration, but back in 1941 a necessary item; the piece-bag with small left-overs. I always have ribbons, small pieces of fabric, threads, buttons etc. Just can't throw them away....
This is what Joanna wrote:

Never throw away any odd pieces of material, as some kind of decorative or useful purpose can always be found for them. A well-ordered piece-bag will save you many odd pence from time to time, and will do much to relieve the monotony of a rationed wardrobe. 
It is better to store pieces in a large square  cardboard (hat)box than in a bag. If you put pieces of material, lengths of ribbon, buttons and buckles into a large bag they will get crumpled and 'mussed', the buckles are likely to tear delicate fabrics, the buttons drop to the bottom of the bag and get lost, and the bits of material become really dishearteningly crumpled. So find a large box, and get your bits and pieces in order.
Isn't this a lovely way to describe such a handy item.....

maandag 12 augustus 2013

Sew and Save VI

Here's about another skill that we are loosing: darning.
Back in 1941 it was a common thing to do; clothes had to be kept as long as possible. I reckon we will need some time to practice this skill......

It may be that your most attractive jumper has a moth hole in it where it shows most. In this case you will have to mend it by grafting so that it won't show. Thread a needle with a length of matching wool and run it along the garment just before the place where the stitches have gone. Put it through two stitches at the lower part of the hole, draw it through, and pick up another tow stitches at the top of the the hole, then down again into the lower stitches. Draw up tightly enough to fill the gap, but not so tightly as to put any strain on the main section of the garment. Grafting forms a line of imitation knitting that is non-detectable. 
As long as a garment is not too far gone, neat efficient mending will give it a new lease of life. Repair where you can, and renovate where you can't.

                                                        Norfolk fisherman's jumper museum Sheringham 2011

dinsdag 30 juli 2013

Sew and Save V

Together with Sew and Save there's another great book from the forties in Britain: Make Do and Mend. This collection has reproductions from instruction leaflets. On clothes, fuel, household keeping etc.
Austerity out of need made everyone a hero in reinforcements and good care in those days. Here's on laundry:

Washing hints:
Mend all tears before washing- whether they are done at home or in the laundry. If you haven't time to do a proper darn catch tears together. Laundries are working under difficulties these days and a stitch in time will be appreciated.

Never let clothes or household linens get really dirty; several light washes are less harmful than one hard one and use soft water- rain water is best.

Dry out of doors when possible - the whites in the sun and the coloureds in the shade.

And indeed, there's nothing better than laundry freshly dried outdoors......

donderdag 18 juli 2013

Sew and Save IV

And this is what Joanna Chase wrote in 1941 about bed time:

Your three great allies in clothes care are heat, steam and a good, stiff brush. Always brush your clothes when you take them off at night, as dust left on overnight works its way into the material and is responsible for that grey 'bloom' on clothes. Buy several twopenny wooden hangers, so that when you hang your clothes up they fall into their natural folds and retain their shape. Be sure to get the hangers wide enough, so that the shoulders of clothes do not sag over the ends. Never hang a garment on a hook by its neck. If you do that, you simply ask for bulging neck-lines and sagging hems.

Come to think of it; it would maybe make us sleep better after this. Away from daily business, problems and thoughts in our minds. Just hang, brush properly and then sleep well...

vrijdag 12 juli 2013

Sew and save III

From 1941:
When you are storing clothes, remember that all shoes should be wrapped in newspaper, and all dark and heavy garments folded with sheets of newspaper between them. The printers' ink is disliked by moths. Mothballs, of course, are an elementary precaution.
Summer clothes should be stored in white paper so that they do not get soiled; hats put down crown downwards into large boxes, one crown into the next. If you are storing silk lingerie, or silk stockings that are new, do not wash them, but put them into an air-tight jar and seal the top. In tis way they will keep without perishing.

If you read this; we completely lost the skill of storing! The fight against moths is still going on today, and the newspaper method is worth doing, not harmful and very easy. I also have eco-bags with herbs that they don't like which I buy in my local organic shop.