Thursday, August 17, 2006

Scraps

I am a scrap keeper. Seriously, I might be able to make something with that. And I do. Here is a perfect example:

This week I am working on 12 soft cover books. They are about 7.5" X 5.5 " in size. As I was cutting the paper, I had scraps that were too small to be used for another book at that size, so I used all of the scraps to make smaller books.

These 6 books are made with all scraps from other books and are approximately 3.5" square:

I don't not know what I am going to do with these mini-books. And I don't find any of them particularly interesting. (As a side note-- I'm not a big fan of the blues. I think from now on I'll stick with earthier colors for the soft cover books.)

Nick's response is, "How much material cost is in each book? How long did it take you to make it?" After I answer that time wise it doesn't take any longer to make the larger book, he responds with, "Then why would you make it when you'd price it cheaper than a book that technically takes the same amount to make?" Hmm. Good question. And it comes back to scraps.

This summer I have been working hard to determine whether or not there is actual value in the scraps that are left from the books I am making. I even have gone as far as to keep a bag of paper recycling next to my studio table. And it is nearly full. I've done a decent job at determining the value of saving them. But these were significant scraps...I could make entire books. Entire mini-books for which I have no specific use and don't particularly like.

I have only thought of one place that these may have value...at my Mom's church. Each of the kids has an activity bag that they can take into the service to quietly occupy them. These would be the perfect size books for the kids who are beginning to write. The problem is, this plan is also flawed. They have about a zillion kids at that church these days and the chances of only six being the age that would get these is very low. And if it is important that all or none receive them, then I end up moving past scraps and having to now buy materials to make these mini-books.

Perhaps I should be harsher in my worthy scrap judgments. However, let’s be real, it doesn’t matter how harsh I am, these scraps would not have been tossed. At the least, I would have used my padding compound to make mini-notepads.

1 comment:

hippiepotomus said...

I don't think that you need to know exactly what they will be used for. I think a 3.5 inch book is perfect for carrying in your purse to keep track of important numbers, names, notes. You're making because you like making. As a craftsperson, you'll always try to see the end environment, the final use of your creation, but the truth is, you won't really ever know. When you're done making they leave your control. Somebody will find a way to love them and use them. I think they're cool.

I applaud your scrap-happy motives too. Of course I share the compulsion. It makes me feel good to use every bit of a piece of fabric that I quilt with. Every ounze of food I buy, even if it doesn't enter a masterpiece dish. I guess my grandmother told me too many times that there were starving children in Africa. It seems to pervade my life. Any way I don't think you should doubt the compulsion. On the contrary, you are "making" with your scraps - what you want to be doing in the first place - you don't need to justify the end.