Sunday, April 20, 2008

Art and Soul Trades...

Check out my Loot!!

One of the really special things about the art retreats is the chance to meet so many like minded people. You are not the only one hording art supplies and ephemera and more types of glue than they stock at Michaels or Joann's combined. One of the ways to meet all these people is by swapping your own art projects with theirs. Sunday night at Asilomar was meet and greet and swap night. I situated myself at a table with Aileen and Carol and the trading period was officially opened. As a newbie - i was not sure what to expect. Here is how it works:
1. You arrange what you have to swap on the table.
2. People approach you and say - do you want to trade?
3. You say yes.
4. They give you something they made - or offer you a choice.
5. You give them something YOU made - or offer them a choice.
...or - if you prefer - you can be the one going around from table to table offering your trades!

It is that simple! I had heard about art retreats with snobbish people shunning the trades on inferior artists. That certainly was NOT the case at Asilomar. Nobody once took a look at what i had to offer and decided NOT to swap with me. Some people were unsure if there trades were worthy - but i was delighted with whatever i received. It is like christmas and your birthday all wrapped up in one beautiful two hour period!
I ended up with 36 really cool things. I guess I brought about 40 things to swap - 25 of the little dictionary book-laces described in an earlier post, and about 15 ATC's. I also had some beeswax collage wall hangings on standby, to swap in case there was a "second tier" of more elaborate trades - but there really wasn't. I ended up trading a couple of those on the last night when i ran out of mini books.

The trades fall into four broad categories:
1. ATC's - surely the most common trade - there were some really detailed and elaborate cards - some quite simple. Most followed the "by the sea" theme as established by Art and Soul for their 2008 retreats.
2. Goody bags - the most self deprecating trades - as in - "i just have a bag of stuff" - but you know what? I LOVE getting these! It is like a little bag of treats - you never know what you are going to get - but there is bound to be something fun inside.
3. Cards - hand made cards- or larger sized collages were fun to get. Each of the ladies trading these offered me a stack to choose from - oh man it was really hard to pick - they were so beautiful.

4. Non paper hand made stuff - this was the most surprising category. In included some pins, some beaded charms, a lavender sachet, a felt purse, some vintage button magnets, and from a lovely lady, a little glass ball filled with fibers in a little box. Included were some inspirational words you can sit on top of the ball and set it on your desk. I was amazed at the work people put into their trades - and the originality and clever way things were packaged.
All in all it was one of the best aspects of the art and soul experience for me. I have no idea what i will do with all these little treasures. I do tend to hoard things. Perhaps they will find their way into other art projects. Like the sourdough bread starter they say has been growing for over a hundred years, these little pieces of art will sow the seeds for art to come.

One last note for anyone planning to attend an event like this and plans to offer trades - PLEASE include your name and contact info on the back. And if our paths cross again - please let me know if you have one of my trades and whether or not you added images to the little book to complete your visual dictionary.


1 comment:

thealteredpage said...

What a great stash of treasure you came home with. It sounds like it was a lot of fun!