Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Odd Things

Innovation is little more than old things put to new uses, or elements combined in new ways.

Recently my office partner Carrie Knowles picked up a piece of curved transparent plastic from the floor near my desk. It turned out to be the handle I'd cut off of the floor protector under my desk chair, no longer needed once the plastic square was in place.

I said: hand it to me, I'll throw it away.

She said: No, I can make something out of this.

Thus began my collection of "odd things." In recent weeks, for Carrie's art, I've been saving the weird bits of stuff that I'd always looked twice and hated to dump but didn't have a use for.

Lots of these items have been unidentifiable; no one would have guessed that that plastic curve was a cut-off handle from a floor protector. This latest batch is mostly items that are recognizable. I'm particularly proud of that big-eyed fishing lure, which I found in the woods near neighboring Jordan Lake. I would have also had trouble throwing away the wonderfully deep divider from a box of jelly beans.

Now these items are on their way to becoming art supplies. I already saw what Carrie did with a sack of corks I sent her way. She cut them lengthwise into thin layers and used them as stamps for printmaking. These cork-stamps produce very interesting patterns.

Thinking of junk as art resources has done at least as much for my way of seeing as it has done for Carrie's store of useful odd things.

Altered Intersection is a site you might like to visit, "...where thrift store scores, found objects, and natural materials come together."

Looking at this kind of art helps loosen up my brain.

If you like this post, please bookmark it on del.icio.us, share it on StumbleUpon, vote for it on Digg. Thanks so much.

No comments: