Monday, July 11, 2011

Buy local- art supplies?

My friend Melissa and I went to the Wayzegoose letterpress sale on Saturday morning to see what kind of goodies we could find.
Melissa bought a case of fonts to play with.  It was really heavy for her to carry it back to the car!

I saw Ray Tomasso at the sale with sheets of his hand made paper in bins for sale. He had been by my studio during Open Studios several times, and was always trying to get me to try his paper to print with.

 I was in need of some paper, so I bought forty sheets of a brown hand made paper.

It wasn't until I got home that I thought a little deeper about my paper purchase.  The buy local movement has been around for a few years now, encouraging people to support their local farmer's or small hometown stores over big box or warehouse retailers.  I shop this way as much as I can, but haven't considered buying local for art supplies.  Buying Ray's paper has so many benefits.  Not only does it support him, and his art of hand made paper but also encourages his recycling of materials that are incorporated into the paper.  Among the list of materials in the paper are grey pants, and a poncho.  How great is that?  After trying this paper in a new project, I may reconsider mail ordering my usual Rives BFK that comes all the way from France. 

I wonder how many other local materials could be used for art supplies- beeswax for encaustic artists is one.  My friend Laura Tyler is one artist I know that uses local beeswax.  Kristin Fitzgerrell uses recycled scrap wood in her work.  Can you think of other artists that use local materials or art materials that can be sourced locally?

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