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2013 Arts and Crafts Trends - Repurposing Raw Materials

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Reusing, Recycling and Repurposing Arts and Crafts Raw Materials
2013 Arts and Crafts Trends - Repurposing Raw Materials

Fushidara by John Petrey

Fushidara image used courtesy of John Petrey. Copyright 2011 John Petrey

Now that we are wrapping up 4th quarter sales for 2012, it's time to consider important arts and crafts business trends for the coming year. I always look at trends from both sides of the coin. I consider what is good for me as an arts and crafts business owner operationally (managing costs) and creatively (attracting and maintaining a customer base).

One trend is an old familiar face from prior years (repurposing) which I discuss on this page using sculptor John Petrey's The Dress Series as a shining example. The other three are new-comers to my yearly list. Before we get started, here are my 2013 arts and crafts trends in no particular order of importance:

  • Repurposing raw materials to both cut costs and maintain an eco-friendly business.
  • Easing into ownership of an arts and crafts business by working part-time, seasonally.
  • Design as a logical complement to handcrafting one-of-a-kind items.
  • Handcrafting items that are useful as well as decorative.

Sustainability in arts and crafts has been a continuing trend for as long as I can remember. Reducing and repurposing is not just a social responsibility issue and great marketing tool - when done effectively, it also allows you to control your cost of goods sold. Plus to stay competitive in the marketplace, it's important to make sure your customer knows that your arts and crafts raw materials and packaging materials are made from this or that percentage of post-customer (recycled) materials.

A few years back, I was somewhat dismayed by the arts and crafts being made from repurposed material. If I saw one more kitchen fork made into a pendant I was going to start screaming. However, some artists really do it right. In my article about 2012 arts and crafts trends, I gave Amy Flynn's FOBOTS as a successful example of humorous repurposing.

The Dress Series by Sculptor John Petrey

It's hard to get any any better than this in the serious artwork repurposing, recycling world. Absolutely stunning examples of the repurposing of raw materials are the gorgeous creations by sculptor John Petrey. Flipping through the images from his The Dress Series, it is almost impossible to pick a favorite.

Fushidara, the sculpture shown on this page, is fabricated from a vintage steel commercial sign, repurposed aluminum, decorative tin ceiling panels, galvanized steel wire mesh and casting resin. The sculpture's measurements are 70"T x 40"W x 46"D.

The next page in this article discusses starting an arts and crafts business part-time, seasonally.

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