Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recycling Coins

A while back I sold some buttons I made from old damaged dimes, to a woman in Canada.  I loved doing them, and if I was a seamstress, I would replace some of the buttons on my favorite clothes with silver ones.  Today, I will be doing the same thing with some damaged copper penny's.  As I compile pictures and slides to add to my upcoming grant proposals, "recycling" seems to be what I do that is different than others.  Recycled art works may just be the very thing that will cause grantmakers to take a second look at my proposal.  When I review the art I have done for the past few years "recycling" is a constant theme.  It occurs to me that I don't buy many new things, but rather I use things that I already have, or I buy old things.  I recycle, reuse, and re-purpose most everything I use in my art projects.  The dimes in this photo are all purchased on eBay, and were damaged dimes when I bought them.  It is totally legal to alter damaged dimes, although you would be surprised as to how many folks believe it is defacing money.  Ironic that I could buy a damaged dime for $2, alter it without legal consequences, but if I tried to alter a dime (worth only 10 cents) that is in circulation it would be a felony. Early Native American silversmiths learned this art from the Spanish.  Even before I knew for sure about my own native heritage, I have been following their footsteps.  Perhaps "recycling" is not a new idea at all, just an idea that has finally become fashionable.

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