I am a practitioner of the can-I-have-its, a collector of things. I am the sort who walks through antique shops touching everything, wondering what place these objects could hold in my life. I flip through the ikea catalog and salivate, just a little. I am, indeed, firmly ensconced in the material culture. As a result, I have a lot of stuff, a LOT of stuff. And as an artist, it's worse, because there is always some potential use somewhere down the road for that quirky rusty, something-or-other. In the last months I have been exploring the place of the gift in our culture, and the relationship between faith and fear and abundance and scarcity. I believe that the structure of artificial scarcity is not only self-perpetuating, but in fact, self-catalyzing. What happens when we believe that there is enough? What happens when we act on that belief? So in the spirit of the gift, I am embarking upon a mission to give away the things that I do not need. It is a practice of faith, and an act of rebellion against dominant capitalist culture. Is it a little crazy? Probably. Is it going to be hard? Absolutely. But here I go.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A few easy ones

So here's the fun part, looking through my stuff and finding ways to gift to people I know and care about.

A dear friend of mine is nothing if not orange and 70s floral loveliness. This salad set of my grandmother's gets packed up in a box and sent across the country this week.

Someone I care about a great deal just moved into a new apartment and upgraded from a twin to a full bed. He's been making do with a stack of overlapping twin blankets. Cold nights are coming and I have how many comforters and duvets? Ok, just one extra comforter, but several duvets. In any case, the (now quite faded) forest green comforter that a friend's family gave me when I first left home is covered in the sage green duvet ready to go home with him.

My old television and its speakers left with my downstairs neighbor, and old cowhide that's contributed to a few projects in its day, a leather wallet or two and the like (and has so much potential for great projects. Can one hoard potential? I don't know, but I've sure been trying. Someday I will learn how to make purses, and I've been holding on to this one for that reason for, I don't know, almost 10 years?) Well, this one goes to my dear mother who has a creative endeavor of her own for which she's been hunting pelt and leather scraps.


  1. Hoarding potential is all I do. I got it from my mother I guess. I also think this is a trait of an artist "someday I might need to use that to make art"

  2. also, nice photo of the orange bowls.

  3. Thanks, Jessamyn! I've been thinking of what to say other than, yeah! me too! Hoarding potential is such a strange and many-layered concept/practice.

    There's also this other question that keeps dancing around the edges of my psyche--Do I collect and save these things because I'm an artist? or am I an artist because I'm the sort of person who feels compelled to collect and save things?