Dana Sitar with her upcycled tunics made from recycled fabrics.

Artist finds new life and passion in fibres

Dana Sitar upcycles, recycles and fashions art from fibres

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

Dana Sitar is up-cycling her life. Gorgeous saris, remnants of antique lace, paintings on canvas, luscious brocades, silks and denim jeans all go into her one-of-a-kind creations. She’s a human dynamo, passionate about her art, life and all it has to offer.

Sitar has been a recycler her whole life. When she was young and living under communism in Czechoslovakia, she would carefully unravel her grandmother’s old sweaters and fashion herself new ones. She was taught to knit, crochet and sew by her mother and she made her own clothes. There was no such thing as boutiques with the latest fashions where she came from.

“I’ve always been a recycler, it was necessary at the time, it still is but more it’s just to save money — I hate to see waste,” said Sitar.

She came to Canada 23 years ago after escaping and hasn’t look back. Her family chose Canada because of the draft in her country and her anti-war stance.

“We thought Canada was the best place to go, Canadians are known as peacekeepers rather than warriors,” she said. They also came for the nature and the opportunities to hike, camp, cycle and ski which she did for years until 2007.

Life changed for Sitar in a split second. She was in a horrendous car accident  and almost lost her leg. This was life altering. It meant she could no longer do all of the outdoor activities she loved. She fell into a depression during the months she was recovering — she thought her life was over. While looking at art on a computer she saw a picture of the most beautiful dress made with a nuno felting technique. This got her out of bed and on the road to recovery, both mentally and physically.

She discovered felting.

“I got out of bed, ordered wool, learned from the Internet and I tried it. Since that day it is my passion.”

Her philosophy on life is simple. “Don’t dwell on what you can’t do anymore, dwell on what you can.”

Felt is an age-old technique using wool, water and friction. It’s essentially  how you wreck your pure wool sweaters when you throw them in a washing machine, except Sitar’s results are controlled. She washes, cards and dyes local fleece and supplements that with purchased fleece roving.

For the up-cycled clothing she reworks garments made from great fabrics into new styles with a slight Bohemian flair. Very trendy, very well made very and sought after. She finds her treasures in second hand stores and often wonders about the original owner.

“Old lace is so delicate and I wonder which woman made this, how long did it tale and what was her life like. I try to give it justice when I remake it into something else, that’s part of my enjoyment.”

Satir’s work was accepted for the Sooke Fine Arts Show in 2010 and she is represented at the Coast Collective Gallery in Metchosin.

Sitar will be selling her work at the All Sooke Arts and Craft Christmas Fair at the Sooke Community Hall from November 15-18. She will also be at awareness film night on Nov. 13 at EMCS to talk about recycling after the film Trashed airs.

At the fair she is offering a wide variety of creations, everything from felted slippers and mittens to bags and up-cycled clothing.

She brings new life to those things she finds and in turn they have given her a new life and new passion.

Just Posted

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read