Saturday, June 23, 2007

Who Knew?

Oh, sweet Durham neighbors...don't you love me no more? Why have you held out on me? Why did I have to hear about it from something as impersonal as a newspaper?

Well, the word is out about The Scrap Exchange in downtown Durham, one of those fantastic places that I could have only imagined in my wildest crafting fantasies. To borrow from their website, "The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit organization that collects material donations from hundreds of individuals, businesses, industries, and municipal sources and distributes them through our Creative ReUse Center. The materials collected represent a snapshot of local industry and businesses. Our donors receive a tax-deductible donation receipt for the fair market value, the arts community has access to hard to find, affordable materials, and TSE prevents reusable items from entering the waste stream."

In other words, just unbelievable. I walked around for 1/2 an hour with my eyes bugging so far out of my head they began to ache. The Scrap Exchange completely embodies what I love so much about crafts...the ability and willingness to look at common objects and assimilate them into something interesting, and often useful. There were many items there whose use was immediately evident, like the vintage fabrics (for $1) and wooden boxes for Andrew's room. But the beauty of the Scrap Exchange is that it carries so many items which challenged me creatively, made me think about finding expression in objects I'd never considered before. Like glass pipettes and test tubes. Or huge old wood spindles. Or piles of 20-yr-old office supplies.

I had the feeling there that I experience infrequently, but always deliciously: the sensation that I'd stumbled upon a treasure right out in the open. I can't wait to go back.

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