Confessions of a Junk Collector
by Susan Anderson.
I can’t deny it, I must confess, I am a junk collector! I see the possibility of creating art from everything. Drawers and closets are rooted through, the garage and junk yard become my treasure chest, thrift shops are a second home, and always, I am on the lookout for discarded materials that can be rescued and repurposed in interesting and artistic ways.
On one of my recent adventures to the second hand store, I found an old metal steamer. I stopped momentarily to assess my situation, “do I have enough studio space left to bring home one more thing” ? The idea of taking the steamer pieces apart to use in making jewelry overtook any good judgment I might have been aiming for, and home it came.
The first thing I did was separate the individual metal sections, which came apart easily. Looking them over, I realized they were perfect as a starter for a pendent. I sanded one piece with steel wool to clean it up, then applied layers metallic paint to give it an earthy surface look. Next digging through my stash I found an old coin, which I textured and painted. On top of that I placed a free formed polymer clay bead I made, which was also textured and painted. The central design was sandwiched between two strips of hammered copper.
I like the back of my necklaces to look as good as the front. In this piece the back is made from polymer clay stamped with a script design and fastened to the metal front, bonding the layers with liquid clay. The chain section is made by alternating hand formed polymer clay beads with organic black beads. All the connecting links were handmade with heavy gauge copper wire. A large decorative copper clasp closes at the back of the neck.
So what might appear as a piece of trash to someone else, to me, is really something with artistic potential, waiting to be reincarnated. As a confessed junk collector, “Oh don’t get rid of that, I can make something with it” is my mantra. And like a kid in a candy shop, my imagination runs wild, as I sift through my treasures, and wonder, what can I sample next!