We started Escama (Portuguese for “fish scales”) three years ago after seeing the way Brazilian women incorporated used pull-tabs into their crocheting. We worked with two craft co-ops to design and produce a range of purses. Experts warned us that we’d need to use machines to get consistent quality. Luckily experts are sometimes wrong. 15,000 bags later, we’ve learned that craftswomen can do what machines can’t: make consistently beautiful bags that are also very personal. We’ve also learned that the world’s abundance of “junk” offers a lot of creative potential. Renato Imbroisi designed this decorative flower, and Eumary Moura Alves Novaes Pinto shows you how to make it.