I’ve probably mentioned before that my 500 sq. ft. art studio is a sublimation of hoarding, since I can’t pass up anything I find that could be used to make art. It’s very well organized, though, with most of the floor-to-ceiling bins sorted by color.
When I have a party or an individual or small group session in FLOOF, the kids or adults are given a basket and invited to pull whatever they want from whatever bin appeals, and put the items in their basket, or at their chosen place at the table. They often don’t use everything they chose, so many baskets are left with remaining items.
I often don’t have time to re-sort the treasures into their color bin, so I developed a system of crates called “Miscellaneous Madness”, which contain random items of every color, size, shape and material. At some point, after 9 years in business, I had a half-dozen of these crates filled with an assortment of 80% recycled materials. What to do?
With summer approaching, in 2017, I decided to sign up as a vendor at a couple of weekly farmer’s markets nearby. I picked two with low or no fees, in rural, scenic neighborhoods. Freeville, NY’s market takes place right in front of their elementary school, under a huge, delightful shade tree. Brooktondale, NY’s location is a sheltered pavilion with picnic tables and a building next door where a free swap is held all summer. Each market also sold vegetables, maple syrup, baked goods, and other crafts. I was in good company.
Each cellophane pack contained a mixture of sizes, shades and textures of things I had taken apart – electronics, shoes, pianos, jewelry, calendar photos, clocks, hardware – you name it! I wrote a very vague “Instructions for Use” card to enclose in each Maker-Pak, not wanting to make specific suggestions that might limit the user’s creativity in any way. To me, there is no right or wrong in art – just whatever is in the heart, mind and soul of the maker.
I made up the packages in 5 sizes: 1 oz. Mini-paks, 2 oz., 3 oz, 6 oz. Midi-paks, and 10 oz, Mega-paks. No two were alike. For me, part of the fun was cruising my shop, opening bins and sorting through containers to find just the right objects to meet the color and texture variation I wanted, while filling the weight requirement.
My goal for this winter is to get these Maker-Paks on Etsy and see how they go. Keep your eyes open!