Journey into the land of 'Household Surrealism'

It's a firm belief here at Sugru that it is only by unlocking people's imaginations to find new ways to repair, improve, decorate and protect the things we love, that we'll truly beat our throwaway culture.

Sunglasses with crocodile Sugru fix

So, prepare to let your imagination run wild with the beautiful concept of Household Surrealism, made popular by the creations of the brilliant artist Helga Stentzel. Helga describes it as:

"...finding magic in the mundane, seeing beauty in imperfections, and connecting to our reality in a new way. I love noticing playful similarities - be it a sweater on a clothing line looking like a horse or a slice of bread resembling a dog’s head."

Helga Stentzel

In the second of our live chat series, 'Who gives a fix?', Jane (inventor of Sugru) spoke to Helga about her incredible work and the thought process behind it all. There's also a fun and simple tutorial on how to add character to your phone charger. It's definitely one not to miss, so if you did, not to worry. You can still watch it here on our Instagram channel.

Helga believes everything can be tweaked, adjusted and personalised to add play to your day. Here she describes how she brings Household Surrealism to life.

"It's basically just letting people see what the unconscious mind is telling them to, but using household objects. I’m really inspired and excited by the most common things: a spoon, a plate of pasta, laundry hanging outside to dry. So, those things which some people see as mundane and probably even boring, I find very exciting. Actually, I think the more boring an item, the more potential it has. This is my own creative strategy. If I see something really, really boring, I’m like, oh ok, let’s have a look at it for two more minutes and see if something comes out of it. And it usually does."

It's clear that Helga sees her surroundings with a very special eye. I mean, whoever thought laundry could be this interesting? 

Helga Stentzel household surrealism clothes resembling cow

We could all do with a little imagination boost from time to time. Here's some extra inspo to get us started...

A few ways to find 'the magic in the mundane'

Bread resembling dog

Forget what it is, what does it look like?

If you look long enough at something, you stop seeing the obvious and start seeing what it resembles. Who knew bread could look like a dog? Helga did. Once you get into the habit of really looking for similarities in things, you'll start seeing characters everywhere.

Anything can be a blank canvas

A plug socket is an excellent example of a blank canvas to get crafty on. If you're creating a character, give it a name or a story. Let your thoughts flow freely. You'll soon realise there are a lot more blank spaces around your house to host more of your handiwork.

socket with Sugru resembling cow
Sugru zip fix to look like two faces

Put a face to a fix

If you need to fix or improve something, it's an ideal opportunity to really think outside the box. Channel all the weird and wonderful ideas you've got going through your head, and you get to save an object in the process.

Spread the word

When you come across a fab new hack, an innovative way of fixing, or an incredibly cool creative project, don't keep it to yourself. Spread it far and wide. You never know what you might ignite.

Helga says: "I just think, when the idea comes to my mind, it’s a shame to keep it to myself, so I have to share it. It’s not necessarily that I generate the ideas, the ideas just come, and my job is to share them with people because if I don’t, I feel like I’m hiding something very important. So, this is why I do what I do."  

We're so glad you do, Helga!

Animation of an idea being passed on