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A few weeks back, I wrote about a museum of forgotten art supplies. It’s a lovely project to commemorate art supplies from yesteryear, but what about art supplies from yesterday? What do we do with those extra 2B pencils when we’re no longer interested in that drawing class? Or those tubes of paint lying around that we know we’ll never get around to using?
An article in Springwise recently pointed me to Creative Resale, a new website and online bartering post that facilitates the sale and trade of used art supplies. In the spirit of marketplaces like eBay, viewers can click through a host of ads (most of them are in Michigan, where the company is based). A quick scan of the latest ads reveals dried and cleaned gourds, a collection of pastel chalks, and dozens of buttons. The prices — $10, $3.99, and $15, respectively — are utterly reasonable, though with the price of shipping this might go up.
On the other hand, by purchasing these supplies, you’re helping them avoid the limbo of a forgotten corner in an artist’s studio. Or worse: a landfill. “The focus of this company is upcycling — the cousin of recycling,” notes the site’s About page. “Upcycling makes a dent in the larger issue of waste. It makes a difference that unused items are resold or donated to organizations instead of landing up in a landfill.”
“I have been an artist and crafter for more than 30 years and have accumulated many different articles that just sit on a shelve because I was sure that I would use them again,” noted founder Marchelle Brotz in an interview with Hyperallergic. “But I didn’t, instead I moved on to other projects. Some projects I liked, and some I didn’t, as a result of which even more items are left on the shelf, together with all the tools I bought to create it. Does this sound familiar?”
For the remainder of the month, Brotz is offering free listings to artists to encourage usage (the usual rate starts at $1 per listing). The site is still new, and there’s not much on it yet, but as more people get online and share their supplies, the site’s value will increase. It would be great to see more infrastructure to support the community, like reputation management and more advanced search features.
“There’s so much more, I could just go on and on,” Brotz noted. “The site is driven by my passion for supporting my fellow artists, students and the public in general.”