Heather Fortin Rubald

Textile/Fashion Arts, Artspace Loveland Arts Campus

artist statement

I have always loved making something out of nothing—or what most people would consider nothing. As a child I crafted and created as regular recreation; drawing, knitting, crocheting, singing, acting, potting and painting my way through school. I spent the first 20 years of my working life as a professional stage actress. During that time, I branched out to costuming, props and direction, as well. Although theater was my main medium, I perfered creating with my hands. 

For a variety of reasons post consumer plastic bags have eclipsed all other art mediums for me. The need to create and experiment and a financial situation that did not allow for the purchase of any real art supplies--not to mention a random comment made by my mother that stuck in my head for a couple of years--are the soil, seed and water for the calling that has become HFR Designs Ltd. I engaged with people within my community and the people who donated their plastic bags appreciated the pieces I created. In fact, they were especially happy that I had taken something they felt guilty about and turned potential waste into something beautiful and functional. Once my friends and acquaintances supported what I was doing, it somehow became my responsibility to keep doing it.  

For several years now, I have focused almost all of my creative energies on the plastic bag. For this reason, I have come to think of the plastic bag as a rather iconic piece of everyday living. So many companies and organizations spend a lot of time and money creating the bag that will represent them to the public. From the color to the logo, so much art goes into the initial creation of a plastic bag. It has been a joy to discover all this diversity and to bend it to my own artistic means.

Although this journey feels as if it has only just begun, it has already had several turns and twists. HFR Designs Ltd and I have grown and evolved a lot. Moving to Loveland has perhaps been one of the best twists for me and the company, because of the great art community here and the influence that it has already had on me. Artspace Loveland has allowed me to revel in the joy of the one-of-a-kind art piece as I take my time further exploring this weird and inspiring medium.

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The Kiss

Working on Upcycled Tree Project

A Nice Pear

Love Your Mother

Ruffled Clutch

Logo Bag

Detail Panel One Upcycled Tree Project

Rethink, Reuse, Recycle

Cranes