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2011 Arts and Crafts Trends

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Arts and Crafts - Reducing, Reusing and Recycling
2011 Arts and Crafts Trends

Recycled circuit boards. Artists: Adriana Varella and Nilton Maltz commissioned for the Palo Alto Public Arts Commission

Photo by Wonderlane / Flickr

Strike up a conversation with most artists and crafters business owners and you'll quickly find that the creative aspect and not the lure of quick, easy cash is the reason for this career choice. However, always mindful of the need to attract paying customers, after all this is a business and not a hobby, successful artists and crafts have to keep an eye on emerging trends and constantly be ready to modify business operations to make their art or craft work with what's selling now and in the near future.

Arts and Crafts Sustainability

Sustainability in arts and crafts, reducing, reusing and recycling, is poised to remain a social responsibility issue and great marketing tool continuing out into the near future. It is rare to see any type of company, not just arts and crafts, touting the fact that their raw materials and packaging materials are made from this or that percentage of post-customer (recycled) materials.

Of course, arts and crafters have been recycling raw materials for years since it reduces the cost of goods sold. For example, metal and woodcrafters collect and either reuse or sell scrap raw materials. Artists reuse canvasses by painting over them. Fabric designers scour used clothing stores to find clothing they can take apart and reassemble into their particular area of art of craft.

Recycling Old Technology into Arts and Crafts

An associated emerging trend for 2011 is to identify objects that can't easily be recycled, take them out of the landfill and reinvent them into works of art. For example, computer technology gets more sophisticated daily, leaving little use for slow, unwieldy or virus-infected computers and peripherals. Some artists and crafters who have the inclination and skill are creating wonderful, amusing and thought-provoking works of arts using parts from old computers and VCRs.

Although please note, making artwork from old technology is not exactly a new idea. Using deconstructed old typewriters (remember them!), Jeremy Mayer has been creating award-winning sculpture for the last 16 years. What I find particularly interesting about his artwork is the fact that he uses cold-connections to assemble his artwork rather than welding or soldering.

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