I had been looking for the perfect recycled material to work with for a long time. When I saw Kiri Skuce's clothing made out of bike gears and inner tubes, I knew that recycled bike parts was the way to go. The inspiration to use recycled bike tires turned into the Recycled Bicycle Wine Rack, which looks elegant and sophisticated while helping you ride green. Kiri stopped by the shop to take some pictures and answer some questions about her work. Check it out!
Tell us about your work. What is your intention in creating?
There’s a whole deep symbolism to costumes that I love to think about. Everything you choose to wear on your body says something about you, conveys a message to everyone around you. My intention in creating is to help people, myself included, express their weird and wonderful natures in the way they dress. I aim to create unique, comfortable, practical clothes and accessories, that let people feel beautiful and special, as they are.
Seeing your clothing made out of bike parts and inner tubes inspired us to work with recycled bike parts! What were those pieces for?
Last spring I got involved with a friend’s project, a film they were shooting to submit to the Bike Smut Film Festival. They weren’t looking for a costumer but I volunteered myself anyway - any production is always better with costumes. And I saw a way to make a link between my two passions: costumes and bicycles. Since the film was about bikes, it only made sense to make the main characters’ costumes from bike parts. I’d never worked with bike tubes before, but I’d sewn leather, and found that it was fairly similar to sew. The result was five sexy, tight vests made from tubes and gears, which was perfect for the characters and themes of the film.
Who wears your pieces?
Anyone who wants to! But I would say most of my creations are geared towards the festival community. I’ve been going to electronic music festivals for years, and it's a big part of my inspiration to start making clothing. That community is all about costumes, self expression, art. I would say most of my creations are intended to appeal to people interested in the festival style.
What are some of your inspirations?
My favourite style is Steampunk! And all things Burning Man. There are many other creators making crazy gear for the Burning Man community, some of whom I follow closely and am constantly inspired by: Jungle Tribe, Ahni Radvanyi, Timjan Design, Jungle Gypsy, Rabbit and Empee, Bubbles and Frown, Zoltan Guerin. The costumes in Game of Thrones completely blow my mind.
Do you sell your pieces?
I do. I used to run a little kiosk and vend at festivals every summer. That went well but was a lot of work. I opened an Etsy shop and that took off pretty quickly - now I mainly support myself from that. I also have several stores that carry some of my smaller pieces on consignment - earrings, tails, and hoods. Eventually I would like to support myself just from contracts to make one of a kind pieces.
What is your favourite part about the Montreal maker community?
I guess it would be the fact that in Montreal, no one seems to do just one thing. I rarely meet someone who's, for example, just into building. They’ll be a carpenter/brewer/bike mechanic/chef. Even people I've known for a long time constantly surprise me with skills they've kept hidden. I just found out the other day that a bike mechanic friend also happens to be an amazing screen printer, I had no idea. I think it's because there's so much going on in this city, you can't help but get interested in many different skills.