Friday, October 5, 2012

Freeform Friday: your friendly neighborhood hardware store...

 The Hardware store, whether Big Box or independent, inspiration everywhere...

Color explosions: gourds, paint chips, orchid, fall leaves. 
With my first post coming up here at AJE, I wanted to make it a good one, interesting to you readers out there - and introduce myself a bit as well. I am a mixed media artist, and lately I have been making more and more wearable work. I do have an Art School background in metals and painting - and taught full time art for 12+ years... But the last ten years, (Oh how time does fly...) I have been primarily in the studio. This week - I also found myself in the hardware store...

My husband and I went to look for some materials for a costume I am creating for FaerieCon. (there's another post there...) and I realized how well I knew my way around the hardware store. Yes, its your place to purchase sandpaper, steel wool, tape, certain torches, glues, safety glasses, gloves... but I get ideas at the Hardware store...
So much potential... epoxies, copper and PVC tubing, clear tubing, washers, tanks of gas, copper pipes/caps. 
I purchased some 1/4" PVC tubing ( so cheap!) and those copper end caps... ooh I have a bracelet idea... (thats another post, let me make one and I will show you!) I thought I would share with you a few of my mixed media pieces and their hardware store ingredients. 

"Great Wave" amulet: PVC pipe, brass, felt, paints, raku bead, leather, wire.  This amulet style bead was inspired by Robert Dancik's book "Amulets and Talismans".  It may or may not have a secret message inside...
"Whispered Tales": wire, silk, gems, copper, nickel, twig, micro fasteners, cedar, paint, chain, resin. (Full story: here. ) Would you believe that the base for this entire piece is cedar? Yes! Sawed from a cedar shingle meant to be hung in the closet. 
I used epoxy putty in this bezel to set a hand made button by Sandi Volpe. 

Evidence: copper pipe visible in this pix of sketches for the "Inspired by Travel" challenge. 
"Inspired by Germany" : copper, resin, key, calcedony, micro fasteners,  images, mica. Read all about it here. 

Surprised you with the cedar shingle, didnt I? What unusual materials do you use in your work? What is your best hardware store find? I look forward to hearing from you...



  1. These are very inspiring...I may have to head to the hardware store this afternoon! lol!

  2. GREAT post! Love all the inspiration you get at a hardware store. Thank you for sharing. I think the hardware stores will be overrun this weekend with ladies wanting to make jewelry and I can only imagine how conversations with hardware store employees will go..."you want to do what with what?!?!" LOL!

  3. WOW I love what you have done. I am surprised with it all! I get asked at the hardware store so many times if they can help and I say "do you make jewelry" You should see the look I get. LOL

  4. I love the hardware store though the clerks often are mystified that I am searching for something to make jewelry! Love what you found and created!

  5. When I was there that visit I had a nice Grandpa ask me if I needed help. Told him I was getting ideas for a costume. He was surprisingly not flummoxed by that. We did have a brief convo about the materials I find and utilize as an artist... It was all a pleasantly tuned in conversation...

  6. Very inspiring - spend a lot of time in Hardwear store too...much more fun than buying shoes or handbags.

  7. Your work is very exotic, I love it!

  8. I absolutely LOVE the hardware store! I have used everything from washers to copper pipe to steel wire! I also love to cruise the hand tool section, I'm always on the look out for cool hammers!

  9. of my favorite places! Let's see...nails used as mandrels, metal screen for texture, copper pipe for beads, copper flashing for metal...lots of things to get excited about! Great 1st post!!!

  10. Cool post, Jenny! I am right there with you. I can't walk into Home Depot or Lowes anymore without checking out what I might snag for future projects!!

  11. Very cool post, Jenny! I love the hardware store - it's where I get my torch supplies, sandpaper, copper tubing, and (sometimes) Dremel accessories. (I'm also a sucker for office supply stores - something about paper and notebooks and stuff!)

  12. Wonderful! I discovered those copper end caps a while back due to the fact my hubby is a plumber - I took all he had and asked for more. Nice to know there are others out there who get excited about hardware finds. Great work!


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