Friday, January 11, 2008

Cheap materials

I know a lot of people spend a considerable amount of money on their craft materials. tThere are jewelry makers who buy sterling silver wires and semi-precious stones, fabric artists who collect beautiful designer fabrics to create bags and accessories out of. But I get so much satisfaction from finding materials for pennies, or free. In fact, I think I am more inspired by thinking of creative ways to use castoffs and odds and ends than I am by walking down the aisles of any of my local hobby stores.

Today, for example, was an exciting day for me. After picking up a couple of things at a flea market for a few dollars, I found the mother lode of cool books to be harvested for my ventures into collage and assemblage art. I was wandering around the store next to the flea market, which is filled primarily with furniture, and wasn't finding much of interest. Then I went upstairs. They have shelves and shelves of fabulous old books. Some legal tomes - Arkansas statutes and the like - lots of American Heritage books and World Book Encyclopedias, but then there were just tons of quirky things. A huge Gray's Anatomy, a book about husbandry and animal breeding with great old black and white photos, old yearbooks, a book full of photos of the Earth taken during the Gemini space flights...

I picked up the animal husbandry book, another one (an incredibly un-liberated piece) called "Always Ask a Man" by Arlene Dahl, and - the best: The Complete Guide to Illustration. It's a huge book full of black and white illustrations created from a collection of volumes originally published in 1850. It's a real treasure in terms of being useful for my art. I can copy the pages, use the illustrations I want and alter them with color... I'm so so so excited about it! I need to go back for the Gray's Anatomy and do some more looking. The hardbacks are only a dollar each. I can't afford NOT to go back.


idyll hands said...

Don't knock a good few feet of sterling silver wire - that wire is going to bring me millions!!

Punkinhead said...

Oh I'm not knocking it - you do gorgeous stuff with that wire!!!