Just a reminder that Tuesday is the 1st, so that is the day for the drawing for the FREE ART! If you have posted a comment since I announced the giveaway, your name is automatically entered each time you have posted. Good luck everyone! Here again is the piece you will receive if your name is drawn.
In one of the many comments posted recently, the question was asked, "What are the bins?"
Goodwill has certain stores called Goodwill Outlets (if you are looking in the phone book or online), but which are called "the bins" by those who frequent the places. They are few and far between, often only in the bigger cities. They are the end of the line, so to speak....the place for donations that are not good enough to go to a Goodwill store, the place for things that spent their time in a store but did not sell, and sometimes the place for excess donations that they do not have time to process, or small items that would not be practical to sell in a regular Goodwill (like Lego pieces, wooden blocks, etc).
They are called "the bins" because everything is rolled onto the floor of the big warehouse-type building in bins about 4' wide and 8 or 10' long and about a foot deep. They are about waist high to make digging convenient. Shoes, books, electronics and clothing are mostly kept in separate bins, but everything else is thrown in together and you must dig to see what is there. I am often what would be called a "bottom feeder" because I love to find the little treasures left after the mad scramble by others to get the bigger things off the top.
The bins in Hillsboro (Portland metro area), where I go, probably has around 80-100 bins on the floor at any one time, and during the day, the employees periodically wheel them away and bring back new ones, which brings a new rush of enthusiasm for the many buyers. Owners of second-hand stores, and those who frequently sell on the internet, are avid and almost daily shoppers.
The best part is the pricing system....by the pound. Except for a few items which are separately priced, like large rugs, books ($1 for paperback and $2 for hardback), furniture, exercise equipment, and bicycles, most items are sold by the pound. If you buy over 25 pounds, the price is 89 cents a pound. Under 25, I think it is $1.29 (I don't really remember because I almost never buy that little). Glass items are 29 cents a pound. So a whole shopping cart full will often cost about $25-30.
When Nils and I go, I remind him what a cheap date I am. One of my favorite ways to spend 2 or 3 hours is to go the bins foraging because I never, never know what might be there! It is like a whole new treasure hunt each time (and each time new bins are rolled out). Cheap fun indeed! Of course, if you don't make art (or do something with everything you find), this fun habit may win you a spot on the TV show "Hoarders"!
Besides the hunting, I love the creative exercise of this. When I look at each item, I have to look at it not from the standpoint of what it was for, but ask myself, does it have an interesting shape, texture or patina? Can it be disassembled into interesting parts? If it was painted or rusted, would it look entirely different? I don't think about how I will be able to use anything, but just if it appeals to me on a gut level. And it all costs so little, what if I made a wrong judgement from time to time. Besides, often things I don't end up using will be just the thing a student at one of my workshops will love.
And that is the story of the bins.....
Oaxaca in December
5 weeks ago