Artist & Designer
Kettins artist and designer Cornelia Weinmann has been nominated as a Perth Pioneer in recognition of her work in furniture upcycling on the Zero Waste Highland Perthshire project. Cornelia has many skills in painting, printmaking and even sculpture; however it’s her passion for turning ugly, unwanted furniture into vibrant focal points that has led to her nomination.
Originally from Germany, Cornelia describes her history as a “colourful one”. Formerly an academic with a PhD in Archaeology and Scandinavian Studies, Cornelia made a bold move when she decided to leave her profession and follow her creative impulses to Canada, after becoming fed up with the prospect of teaching the same subject matter to students time and again.
It was in Vancouver in the mid-1990s where Cornelia first discovered and adopted the idea of breathing new life into timeworn pieces of furniture. She later developed the idea into a business and would spend her weekends at yard sales, sifting through unwanted pieces that she could repaint or reupholster as a feature piece.
“I had my own business in Canada and I did upcycled furniture, painted furniture and painted and printed fabrics. Then my adventurous nature took me to other countries, namely to the south of Ireland at first, and from there to Wales, and through Wales I came up here to Perthshire.”
It didn’t take long for Cornelia to get noticed following her arrival in Kettins, where she was approached to use her skills in leading workshops for Perth and Kinross Council.
“Thanks to my website somebody discovered that I do upcycled furniture, and it was the Zero Waste Highland Perthshire project…. the lady in charge found my name and the upcycling connection and invited me to do workshops for the Council in upcycling in the Aberfeldy and Pitlochry area…. there were certain follow-on courses which I’m teaching, so that was a great opportunity for me to get into furniture painting again.”
Despite primarily seeing herself as a painter, sculptor and print maker, Cornelia says that furniture upcycling has become a leg of her Perthshire business. Following on from the Zero Waste Highland Perthshire sessions in town halls and public buildings, she now offers private instruction in her studio, where she can take on small numbers of people when the opportunity arises.
After being encouraged what can be achieved by tapping into local creative networks, Cornelia is now keen to collaborate on her other passions, including painting and sculpting.
“There’s a multitude of networks, artist led networks, business led networks and Council led networks, such as the Zero Waste Highland Perthshire project. It was possible after a very short time to become a part of these networks and be in the loop of knowledge transfer. That has helped me because I was able to find exhibition opportunities, project opportunities… last year I had an exhibition, a part of a group exhibition in Perth Museum and Art Gallery – the Perthshire Creates exhibition.”
At this exhibition Cornelia showed linoprints of the lost buildings of Perth, inspired by a series of old photographs in the museum’s collections. Cornelia features much for her work on her website and encourages local creatives to get in touch with her to discuss how to collaborate across artistic disciplines.
You can connect with Cornelia Weinmann and learn more at: www.corneliaweinmanndesign.com