Art on jars kicks off glass reuse option
Reconsidered Goods has found a way to make art on mason jars as a part of their ongoing mission to reuse glass in a beautiful, functional way. Everyone is invited to show up during regular business hours on July 3 starting at 10 a.m. and on July 7 at noon to turn an old jar into a “colorful summer fruit salad,” and be creative for an hour or more at Reconsidered Goods’ Make-It Days. Supplies, instructions, and some examples will be provided to get started. The maker fee is $8, and makers can bring snacks and drinks (alcohol is allowed for ages 21 and up only).
Reconsidered Goods is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit creative supply resource open to the public to give what some may consider trash, a second life through art and creative reuse. Reconsidered Goods accepts donated materials from manufacturers and individuals to keep it out of the landfill by putting it into the hands of artists, makers, teachers and kids to create something new. Reconsidered Goods has a retail store, a workshop space, a maker’s lab, and a community room for artists to meet and create together.
Paige Cox, co-founder and executive director of Reconsidered Goods is a North Carolina native from Asheboro. Cox received her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in fiber arts and worked as a full-time artist for years before accepting a job with Anthropologie in Greensboro. (She was the store display coordinator, and later the visual merchandiser after selling wholesale and retail all over the country.) She said after discarding a lot of her personal creative materials she didn’t think anyone would use, she realized that the Triad could use a creative reuse center. Cox attended a four-day boot camp at Durham’s Scrap Exchange and was trained on opening a nonprofit model to reduce waste going into the landfill. And in 2015, Reconsidered Goods was opened to the public.
Cox said that Reconsidered Goods has been working with board member Tori Carle, the waste reduction supervisor for the City of Greensboro, to promote recycling through creative reuse. Cox said that they learned through a Facebook questionnaire how upset people were about the recent decision to stop recycling glass in Greensboro. Cox is a huge pro-recycling advocate who has learned, after witnessing all of the issues involved, that the recycling program and budget is not the solution. Even if everyone is recycling correctly, all it takes is one broken bottle of fingernail polish to contaminate a whole bin full of paper and cardboard and other items. (She highly recommends that people take a tour of the local recycling center to learn more.) She said when human handpick out all of the mistakes made by other humans, “you start to understand the issues we are dealing with.” Glass is heavy and hauling it costs money, and while there are proposed drop-off sites for glass, she said there is still a need for a long-term solution.
Cox said the community could be advocates for the future by forming new habits in purchasing and letting city officials know they would like to have glass recycling back.
Cox said Reconsidered Goods offers art education and fun through outreach, festivals, community programs, creative events, birthday parties for all ages (see website form to start planning ahead), field trips, and their $5 “make and take labs,” which are taken to schools and other locations for kids to figure things out on their own. There is a service fee to cover staff and travel costs, and some projects are grant-funded, especially for Title I schools. Reconsidered Goods also offers three summer camps, and spaces are still available for the upcoming June 24 Reuse Runway, July 8 Wizard Academy and Aug. 5 Mixed Media Masters.
She said that they offer fun, eco-friendly activities that serve to educate participants of all ages and abilities on the environmental impacts of being creative while reusing materials. One of the most exciting things they have added is art in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with their Full “STEAM” Ahead storytime and activity every third Thursday.
Cox said that if anyone has items or materials that they would like to donate, they should review the list of items on Reconsidered Goods’ website, and call if they have things that aren’t listed. Reconsidered Goods always accepts donations during business hours and is averaging around 9 tons of donated materials per month that has been diverted from the local waste stream.
Anyone can purchase the unique items available at Reconsidered Goods to take back to their personal studios, or stay and create at the maker space.
“The bigger message is it doesn’t take money to be an artist, you can work with things that are available,” Cox said.
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer/poet/songwriter, wellness herbalist, flower essences practitioner and owner of Paws n’ Peace o’ Mind cat/dog/house sitting.
July 3 at 10 a.m. and July 7 at noon, Make-It Day/Summer Fruit Jars, $8, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. and Aug. 11 at noon, Make-It Day/Altered Thrift Store Art, $8, Reconsidered Goods of Greensboro, 2805 Patterson St., (336) 763.5041, Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m.