I seem to have a knack for salvaging. I'm one of those people who almost always finds something great at the thrift store for a deal, and I manage to get most of my studio items for free.
- At the top: This ring saw was broken and discarded. A handy aquaintance fixed it, and it has been working fine for years.
- That antiquated overhead projector was tossed out. It has some issues, but is very helpful for me when I need to enlarge a design.
- Next is a chalkboard that a friend got rid of when he moved. It helps me keep track of upcoming shows and commissions. Notice the carved wood panel above it; that is from our Thai canopy bed. We hit our head on it one too many times.
- The bottom pic shows how I cleverly shove piles of collected bubble wrap and other packing material under my countertops. Ok, it isn't pretty, but it sure is useful when I need to pack and ship my work. Most of the bubble wrap pictured came from the delivery of a metal sculpture to a new building. I happened to be grouting a mosaic there when it was unpacked. I also brought home a truckload of cardboard that day, which will go under our landscaping.
Not pictured is the light table that was discarded because it wasn't working and the base is unstable. It has been fixed by a handy friend, and I keep it wedged between two solid work counters. (Great for glass-on-glass mosaic.) Said counters are constructed of salvaged materials, including a door used as a table top.
I will admit here that my salvaging nature did not begin as an effort to conserve. While I've always been inherently concerned with the environment, I have also lived on a limited income for most of my life. I have been able to build my studio and business with very little overhead. If you can afford it, you can put together a much more attractive, organized studio by just purchasing the systems you need new. A lot of time and energy goes into finding, fixing, and re-constructing all of these materials, but the money and resources saved makes it worth every ounce for me.