The interplay between productivity and thrift has always directed Tansy’s practice. As a child, the sustained urge to express herself and experiment meant that even a generous supply of new media, could not keep up with her constant making. She soon identified household waste as a useful addition to her stock of art materials. The ubiquitous nature of paper and cloth meant that, as well as costing nothing, there was a never-ending variety of colours, textures, and weights. Tansy foraged the by-products of family life, especially enjoying the translucency or wear of items like cellophane sweet wrappers, greaseproof paper, stained jelly-making muslin, and thread-bare dish cloths. Serendipitous marks of use, an ink-smudged postmark or mud-stained hem for example, added a pleasing layer of detail and nuanced narrative to her collection. Using left-overs allowed purchased materials, such as paint and thread, to go further, and demanded inventiveness as the palette was limited to what was available.