Last week Nils had an appointment in Portland so I opted to go along. Since we were on the east side of town, I thought a trip to the eastside Goodwill bins would be a fun diversion. Besides, my favorite shopping spot, the westside bins, had recently been a disappointment.
For those of you who don't know what "the bins" are, they are the end of the line. Here are the donated things that are not good enough for a Goodwill store, the things that don't sell in their alloted time in the Goodwill store, and sometimes just an overflow of donations. Things are tossed into "bins" (large 4x8' bins on rollers) with some weak attempt at organization. Books will be in their own bins, shoes & clothing will be too. Electronics are mostly separated, and the rest just gets tossed in. So you may find a wig, a plate, a purse, a catcher's mask, a doll, a stapler, an old record and a rusty hammer, all in the same bin, along with dozens and dozens of other things. The hunt is the fun part because you never know what you may find.
But I digress...When we walked into the office/studio of the practitioner he was visiting, I was immediately in heaven. Bones, skulls, feathers, wings, claws...wow! (Those were for her art, not her practice.) While Nils had his treatment, I was told to wander and lust after things...which I did. I was rewarded with a raccoon skull....perfect!
For my found object work, much of what I love to use is too ratty or old to even be found in a regular Goodwill store. Most garage and estate sales will have tossed into the dumpster the things I like most, so at times, it becomes problematic to find the low-caliber, well-worn, even possibly broken things that evoke emotions in me. But the eastside bins did not disappoint! There was an old catcher's mask (wonderful!...and I'm thinking it might go with the raccoon skull), metal parts and pieces some of which were already rusty, a mah jong game with lots of pieces, turned wood pieces and knobs, metal knobs, some wooden boxes that will provide the habitat for future pieces and a wealth of other goodies. Where else can you spend 2 hours shopping (actually, rummaging), enjoy the hunt, and walk away with 2 carts full of creative possibilities for around $50? A fun day indeed!
(Photo: 111, copyright by Diane Lou 2008. 14"x14". Photo by Nils Lou.)