Sunday, February 15, 2009

trash to treasure

It's no secret that I absolutely adore anything vintage. My house is filled with pieces that we've picked up at various stages of our lives and at various venues. Old tool chests and suitcases mix with a classic Dutch watercolor landscape inherited from my great-aunt along with the old coffee grinder I grew up with.

So it's no surprise that I find myself drawn to try and create something new and exciting out of other people's junk and discards. However, before I could try my hand at any kind of art assemblage, I had to have a palette of sorts to work with. And finally, after months of scouring Etsy and Ebay, antique malls and flea markets, I've created my palette:

Yes, I admit – it looks more like an unorganized junk drawer but if look closer, you'll find my palette is actually quite organized and inspiring (at least to me):

While my physical palette consists of anything and everything that catches my eye and piques my imagination, my color palette somehow stayed quite neutral, all quite by accident.

In case you're wondering how in the world I might combine some of this junk I just showed you into something new and exciting, let me show you a few pieces I've been working on.

This one was inspired by an old, beat-up office clip board my friend Amy brought me. Boring no more, wouldn't you say?

This next one started with this old, rusted salt shaker top that Todd found while at the Clark County antique show. It just begged to have wires sticking out of the holes.

This next piece I could almost see in my head as soon as I spotted this old baking pan at a vendor's booth:

And finally, I've posted about these "frozen Charlotte" dolls I found on Etsy last year. This one begged to be turned into a little guardian angel:

Can't wait to see where this assemblage journey takes me next... Needless to say, if you're cleaning out your attic and come across something you think is old and useless, don't toss it – maybe you can turn it into something special instead!


Melissa said...

I love what you're doing! Nice collection of numbers and letters!

poetic flummery said...

alex, i didn't know you were trying your hand at assemblage! awesome! i love the idea of the clipboards...i have a love affair with old clipboards and have a rotating display of them in the house (sometimes in the living room, sometimes dining room depending on the whim). usually use them to clip up new photos (or old photos) and postcards and things that inspire me! i love what you did here. and, wanted to mention, i love the little vintage ceramic animal figurines in your "pallet"...i've long been looking for little deer figurines to put in my guest room. got any tips for where you found yours?

Alex said...

Most of the figurines are actually metal or plastic (like all the deer and the squirrels). I usually find them on Etsy or eBay although yesterday I found plastic, fifties-kitsch mama and puppy Collies at Goodwill - major score since they were a great deal plus I didn't have to pay shipping! I've also had success at antique malls – if you shop right after Christmas, they're often on sale!