PROCESS – How the messy bags are made

The messy bags have actually been around for longer than The Smallest Tribe. Making these little water proof bags was born of necessity and grew into over 1000 of them being sold in another little corner of the web under another name and they’ve been sent all over the world – the UK, Germany, France, Canada, USA, the Bahamas, Spain, you name it, there’s probably one there.

The messy bags in their current format here at The Smallest Tribe came about as a way of using up left over ink after the screen printing process. I had dozens of pots of colours I loved, but none of them contained enough to flood a screen for printing and it just seemed so wasteful to wash the ink down the drain, no matter how non toxic and eco friendly it was.

So I started painting canvas with the remains and I discovered two things; first, it was a tonne of fun using the ink in a much more free form way with tools that don’t usually get involved with printing – brushes, spatulas, masking tape; and second, ink that would usually be too old or dry or lumpy to use for printing worked wonderfully with a brush or a bit of working up first.

One of the biggest guiding forces behind The Smallest Tribe is the question, “Is this treading lightly on the earth; does this minimise waste; is this USEFUL?” Not only are the Messy Bags delightful little pieces of art and joy to use in your every day lives, they do all of this too. They minimise waste, tread lightly and encourage the use of more eco friendly, reusable products.

Here is a quick video showing you a little snippet behind the scenes of how they’re created. Enjoy!

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