Yes, foraging for materials.

It’s a strange process, that starts with some material or other catching my eye, bothering my mind, but also bouncing around in my head demanding to be given a new purpose.

It could be merely because I noticed a preponderance of something, like wire coat hangers being thrown away in bags and tangled clumps. It could be the individual shape of an item (bottle caps cried out to be dapped into pretty little half-domes, bosses on something wearable – and readable, as it turned out), or it could be its material properties, like the plastic strapping that gets fastened once, then cut off a package, and discarded without so much as a second glance. An item at once necessary and protective, but then abruptly it becomes a hindrance and nuisance (plus, they don’t seem to be commonly recyclable).

I don’t always have to scrounge too hard to obtain what I need. Once I explain what I’m doing, everyone I ask seems enthusiastic to offload the scrap material that often accumulates, unwanted. Often, they also express enthusiasm for getting to, in some way, contributing to a piece of art, or at least giving scrap material new value and use.

Not that this doesn’t remind me, also, of the old George Carlin talk about how leftovers are wonderful because they give you such a good feeling, twice! First, when you put them neatly in the refrigerator you feel virtuous, “I’m saving food!” …and again three weeks later when you find them at the back of the fridge, becoming a biohazard, and you throw them away: “I’m saving someone’s life!”