Every Part of the Buffalo

So, today I thought it might be fun to talk a little bit about my process. Specifically: waste. I don’t have much.

Tod likes to say that I use “every part of the buffalo.” Sometimes my studio looks like I’d make a good candidate for Hoarders, but the fact is, a lot of my work is based on taking something that was destined for the dumpster and turning it into something awesome – and with that in mind, I try to throw away as little as possible. It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to “save” a discarded book, then use the cover and toss the rest.

A lot of the books that I use come from library discard sales. (I absolutely love supporting libraries!) I also find books at thrift stores and garage sales, and occasionally I’m lucky enough to receive donations from people who enjoy my work. Some of my favorite books have been outdated encyclopedias and grade school literature books – they’re packed with great illustrations and paper stocks, but are unlikely to be picked up by a kid who wants a book to read. 

After I remove a cover from a book, I cut the cover down to 4” x 6” to make a wire-bound journal.  The remaining pieces of the cover go into a bin, to be set aside for making brooches & picture frames.  The pages in the book are used for paper kits or sold as whole book pages in my shop.  Anything left over goes into recycling.

A single book may be used to make Magnet Sets, Art Journals, and several Paper Packs. It’s important to me to run an eco-conscious business, and I’m proud of my commitment to using as much as I can. I love books and it’s really exciting to me to think of how much art and creativity might come from a single book when I turn it into supplies – I’ve sent Paper Packs and Ephemera kits all over the world, and it’s so inspiring to me to think about my role in turning trash into art.

This has been on my mind today, because with our upcoming move, I suddenly have to turn more of my “stock-pile” into supplies. That’s why I’ve started making Paper Packs for each color. Today I listed red, orange and yellow.  Green, blue and purple will arrive to the shop later this week. If you’re an art journaler or mixed-media artist, I hope you’ll take a peek. :)

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2 thoughts on “Every Part of the Buffalo

  1. OMG I know how you feel about craft stock pile vs a move. I just got our tentative move date… JULY 26TH. I’m so screwed, lol.

  2. these are really really lovely looking!!!! and i’m completely with you on using as much as possible. wonderful. [:

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