1.14.2010

Junk is a term of endearment

"Junk" is the basis for many of my projects - and by "Junk", I mean this as a term of endearment.  Taking the bits and pieces (and sometimes even bigger pieces) of junk that people are throwing away and making it into something that is either useful / beautiful / functional / amusing is the crux of my work.  Giving new life to remnants of the past has been the tagline of my business since its inception.  This idea of finding a useful life for the remnants that others have tossed is also the basis for The Salvage Studio, of which I was a founding partner.  Our book, The Salvage Studio, Sustainable Home Comforts to Organize, Entertain, and Inspire is a compilation of 35 projects that one can make using readily available items from the dumpster, the local yard sale or the community thrift store.  Beth & Lisa are still continuing The Salvage Studio business - and in fact they have a great blog themselves - see the link under my favorite blogs and websites.

One useful approach in working with cast-offs and items of unknown origin is to look at an item for what it can be, not what it was.  Turning an item upside down often initiates  "eureka!"  and then I am off to my studio.  Here's a recent project that demonstrates what can done with minimal effort and a modicum of creativity, giving maximum results.









These are three glass coasters that either came from Goodwill or out of a "free Box" at a yard sale.  The two square coasters were hefty and had a substantial lip on them, the round coaster was heavy as well...paperweights came to mind.
If the square coasters were turned upside down, there was an open cavity that could be space for a 3-D collage.  I started to collect what I might use in my collage...


 a stash of old keys...









a mixture of orphaned buttons...





the ubiquitous collection of stamps...
combined with some leftover wrapping paper, a few stray feathers and a snippet of ribbon...



the end result!

close-up of the first square paperweight with stamp, button and feather as the design elements.


close-up of the second square paperweight with stamp, feather, old key as design elements.  I added a sealing wax impression for some extra color.















close-up of the round paperweight.  This one I did not turn upside down to use the hollow space for a 3-D collage but kept it as a coaster - making a 2-D collage under the glass with wrapping paper, dictionary definition snippet and a very light feather.  The idea of having it be a paperweight with using the coaster indent to hold paperclips or magnets or whatever else you stash on your desk appealed to me.

All three paperweights are for sale at my space at Faded Elegance.  Since I use original elements in the design, these three are unique and can never be exactly replicated again.  Start your own collection of stray items- tear off the stamps of letters you receive, clip the buttons of a worn shirt before it is tossed, cut out interesting photos from that magazine before it is recycled - you might be surprised at what you can make from this junk!

1 comment:

  1. Love your work! I now have a link to your blog in the sidebar of my blog, "La Vida Artistica=The Artisitc Life".

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worth a look...

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