Thursday, November 17, 2005

artmaking with thrifted tools and materials!

staggered eyelets

i'm sitting at home today, sick with a chest cold, and knitting with one of my many sets of thrifted knitting needles (shown above). and i'm musing and meditating about how thrift stores are simply brimming with tools and materials and mediums for creativity and expression:

-furniture to transform, with fabric and paint
-bags of luscious yarn, in all shades and colors and fibers
-well-worn knitting needles and crochet hooks in every size and configuration
-pieces of unused vintage, and newer fabric, to be put to a myriad of end uses, like quilts, dolls, doll clothes, clothes for people or kids or pets, covering the aforementioned furniture, pillows, and so on, and so forth
-clothes and linens to cut up and transform and remix (why not add a doily to that sweatshirt? or make a dress out of vintage towels?)
-sewing notions of every conceivable type and form
-old magazines and books to be cannibalized for collage
-beautiful old sewing machines (or even knitting machines!) with some miles left on them
-sweaters to felt or frog, to be turned into fun new takes on the idea of "knitwear"
-old crafty tomes to pour through, for inspiration
-paintings or wall art or canvases to add to or paint over
-cups and dishes for the painters, to clean brushes and serve as palettes
-old dishes to smash and turn into funky mosaics
-old jewelry to take apart and reinterpret in a modern way

shoot, the possibilities are really endless...and i could keep adding to to this list infinitely. thrift stores are clearly an indispensable resource for artists and creatives...and anyone with the means of getting their behind to a thrift store should be taking advantage of the art-making treasures within. they are a terrific supplement or even replacement for materials that can be bought new.

i invite you to add your own suggestions of artists materials you could glean from your local thrift! :)


jenny vorwaller said...

i love to find vintage trays and add hanging hardware for my paitings ad collages...there is so much access to "raw" materails at thrit stores for textile art too.

Jenn said...

In addition to coming home with piles of patterns to play with, I've been known to haul home clothing to take apart and use as patterns, and even just to have around as inspiration.