Using Up

Jan. 6, 2011

Recycling is very popular, but just what does it mean?  I’m really interested in that right now since I’m trying to enter a juried show at the 1109 gallery where the requirement for entries is that they be made out of 90 percent recycled materials.  My project involves fabric scraps from  several large plastic bags of pieces saved from various sewing projects through the years.  I also have quite a collection of spools of thread and a tangle of partial skeins of embroidery thread, which I will use in this project.  I even made the stretchers from scraps of wood in the basement.  My only expense was a very cheap frame from Goodwill that I plan to spray paint with paint left over from other projects.  One thing I really like about this project is that I’ve spent almost no money on it.  But technically I wonder if these materials will be considered recycled by whoever is judging this show.

At present I have another problem.  I can’t find the Goodwill frame I bought and the deadline is drawing near.  It’s got to be somewhere in my house, probably in my office, which is without doubt the most disorganized room of all.   I’ve started trying to clean it and am finding an abundance of all sorts of things, but so far no frame.  So my resolution for this year is to use some of the materials I’m finding rather than just buying new because I am not aware of what I already have.

For instance I’ve found numerous sketchbooks with many empty pages in them.  And my pastel collection is amazing, from a box that dates to college days, to the soft pastels I stocked up on when I lived in a small Oklahoma town where they weren’t available, to leftovers other artists have given me when they no longer wanted them.  I have more small frames than I’ll probably ever use.  The list goes on and on.  So whether my project makes it into the show or not, it has given me the impetus to clean my office and make creative use of what I already have.  Who knows what I’ll come up with?

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