Etsy Trashion team asks, what came first, the trash or the art?

"Which came first, the trash or the art? Were
you inspired by the material or the end product?"

Post your answers here!

Here are the answers gathered so far!!

Bayou Salvage, says: “the ideas come first. i am first and foremost an idea person and spend a lot of time on the idea. then i let it ride for awhile and see what materials i can collect to suit the idea. my partner is the reverse (heather from nolasalvage). she collects the materials and is constantly in assembly mode, not liking to think. we work well together, especially on the road junk picking.”

SweetyPrize, says "First came the trash. It stares me in the face and I stare back. Thinking of something to do with it that doesn't involve throwing it out."

Magickalrealism, says ” I first came to trashion by reading etsy forums and going, "that's really cool." I hate composting my leftover materials, and this left me a challenge to use up all my plant material in a creative way.”

Annie’s Sweat Shop, http: says "Improving end products turns me on. As a former product designer, it's all about improving the "junk"....oh I mean products that are currently out there. I fill a need in my personal life through DIY and improve upon what the market currently provides. That means using sustainable materials whenever possible, offering grassroots recycling of collars and leashes, or using recycled fibers in modular pet beds. I've got my hate on for disposable technologies masked as convenience. Make it last just a little longer."

Kae1Crafts, says: “The trash almost always comes first.
Inspiration takes a lot longer to acquire!!! LOL”

Jen1Kanobi, says... "actually its very hard to say... "the chicken or the egg?" I was raised in a "pack rat" home where we use the holy heck out of every little thing untill we absolutely cannot, so the roots of the trashion mentality were their, but it wasn’t untill I was a starving art student, trying to gets "wows" from my classmates without breakin my bank that the true sinergy happend... oh yeah and the whole "grunge" thing totaly helped... that's how I really got into the thrift store thing... in a nut shell: you tell me."

FairyTaleFibers, replies “Well the trash or Selvage came along in a life long love of fiber and fairies....then the idea for the fairy tale hoods was born. So i guess you could say it was a perfectly timed convergence.”

Miggipyn, says, “which came first? it's a little of both - i've got a magpie mind, so I collect and horde pretties, even if i'm not sure what to do with them. and then, while walking around the city and daydreaming, i'll start thinking of ways to use them. fabulous finds are EVERYWHERE - and i often don't even notice the items around me until i've already had an idea, and then i realize the materials are just lying around everywhere. example -- i've started playing with broken glass and foil from the streets, and i never realized how many COOL shades of blue, green, red, and yellow glass are used in every day disposables! so now i've got a huge bag of glass from the street .. and i don't know what to do with all of it - but i'm sure it'll come to me :) “

Donnapool, says “the art came first...sort of. What I use most is recycled images from vintage magazines to make buttons, magnets, keychains and pocket mirrors. I look through old magazines such as Life, Look, etc., and especially vintage photography magazines and I spot images that I can imagine isolating and preserving in that small, round format. The images are just too good to throw away, too indicative of the day and time in which they were created. Maybe it's the history major in me that just doesn't want to throw away those slices of our history. Expressions, hairstyles, fashions or the cameras our grandparents used...they can become a window into another world.”

Pagano Design Works, http://PaganoDesignWorks says “Oh absolutely the trash came first! Currently, I am passionate about making jewelry out of recycled sweaters. The bead part was easy, as I live in Tucson, AZ where the world’s biggest gem and mineral show arrives every year. (Not collecting beads is the difficult thing around here!) The sweater part was convoluted. I learned to knit to occupy myself while chaperoning my son’s jazz band to New Orleans…in a bus. Yarn is expensive. I learned to unravel thrifted sweaters in order to salvage their luxury yarns. Unraveling is strangely satisfying. Some sweaters don’t unravel but felt beautifully. I made lots of things with sweater felt for a year or so. Then…the felt got too close to the beads and POOF! Jewelry! Often I will save things for years just because I know they are Cool and Useful. Exactly WHAT they destined to become is the mystery. Sometimes it is hard to commit a treasured component to a new project. This is called “hoarding” and is not a good thing. We must allow the trash to become art and fulfill its destiny!! “

Redux Designs, says “it can be both! Usually I go through what I have on hand and play around with them, put together combinations and see what comes out. Sometimes, however, an idea comes to mind and I go searching for what I need to make it happen. Sometimes I can adapt an idea to use what is on hand; other times, a trip to the thrift store is in order!”

Garbage of Eden, says: “the art. My dad's a graphic designer and my mom is a super crafty lady so everyone was always creating things around me. My family is a really big inspiration to me. : ) ”

Renee Designs, says: “I think the trash came first. I am a collector/pack rat and was collecting magazine images, articles and cool papers for a while. I
always thought I would use them for inspiration for a new jewelry design but the more I looked at them I knew there was art in all of that mess. The trash I had collected was really art just waiting to come out.”

Trashionmode, says “I've been inspired by materials . I owe what I know to the tramp artists, basket weavers, rag pickers, gypsies, Marcel Duchamp, prison artists, assemblage artists, reconstructionists, etc.. I have a serious junk picking/ thrift shop habit.
I may venture out on a mission to find supplies for a particular project but I often come home with something else. It's the knowledge that everything has the potential to be used in a way other than its intended use that comes first for me. Even when I make something that no one else has done before it is based on my willingness to think of art as having endless possibilities. It is not "the art" ,as in a particular project, but "art" and all it's possibilities that come first. Even in the use of natural materials in Trashion there has to be a thought process that takes place that drives you to alter it. Only the cavemen had the right to say that the rocks came first. In our day and age I think that it is art that comes first. Designing and appreciating everything is a thought process...and an art. I have a box of junk that I don't yet know what I'll do with. It is in
my possession because of its possibilities. My choices of what to keep and what to discard are based on my aesthetic sensibility and the kind of art I like...not for what it is. Though I must concede that the properties of the junk will determine what I will do with it. If I were not an artist I would probably not keep or use it.”

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