Monday, July 14, 2008

Organic Junk Food & Handmade Tchotchkes

Craft Shows are one of my favorite summer treats. I love seeing all the variety of handmade items, noting each artist's unique presentation and creations. It's also interesting to note trends and fads. This year I noticed a lot of greening. Quite a few of the vendors promoted the idea that their work was made of recycled or found objects and that their packaging is entirely reused materials. Some of the designs themselves were conservation aids, including barrels for rain harvesting.
One eco-artist, Beth Levin, calls her business From Junk 2 Funk and specializes in fun jewelry made from old typewriter keys, Scrabble tiles and other eccentric items. Another crafter, Ann Skydell Harmon, has a business which she calls AnnMadeArt; she created "Bracelets with a Conscience", fashioned from reused poptops, primarily. Much virtue comes from her creativity!
However, I already have probably 40 pairs of earrings and maybe 20 necklaces. Hence my title. Junk food of any composition is still junk food, and lovely handmade things, even those made of reused materials, are still tchotchkes - a wonderful Yiddush word for trinkets. More stuff. I get a lot of pleasure from nicely designed, beautiful stuff, and had I really fallen in love with something at the fair, I would have sprung for it. I like to support craftspeople. But in the end, I got what I really needed: NOTHING.

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