Thursday, November 8, 2012

The thrill of the hunt......

I realized the other day I haven't shared much of my own little makings around here lately.....Mostly, I've been concentrating on some other creative pursuits like painting and teaching locally, but I have been playing with copper!

It's one of my "professional secrets" where I get lots of my metal working equipment and even jewelry supplies....but since I love you guys so much I thought I would share :)

Most of my equipment, metal supplies, studio furniture, and even my copper elements are second hand. One of my other pursuits is spending lots of time combing estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. Quite often, and MORE often than you think, I find boxes full of copper stampings, tools, equipment, and studio furniture for a fraction of what it would cost new! Not only the savings, but also the quality of many of the tools and copper I've picked up are superior to what is currently available. The copper is often of thicker gauges than are normally sold and the tools are sturdier and time-tested.

There are tons of hobbyists out there who decide they no longer need/want their equipment!

snapshot of my dental drawers where I store many tools and beads


raw copper stampings in my dental drawers!


The secret is attending the same estate sales and getting there early. Most estate sale companies have email lists where if you're a regular, you can be invited to the "preview". The preview is the sale that takes place before the sale opens to the general public. This is where you get the chance to scoop up the good stuff before everyone else. Many estate sale companies also advertise their sales on EstateSales.net and many posts will have pictures and a description of what will be in the sale....

A few of the things I have scored have been:

Dental cabinets (complete with compartmentalized trays excellent for holding beads and tiny things)

Boxes full of copper stampings, wire, sheet metal, even silver!

entire box of copper I scored....


Jewelry saws, files, pliers, etc. (usually tucked away in tool boxes)

Enamel (I once paid $1 for an entire box of various colors of enameling powders)

Dapping Blocks

Gemstone strands

.....and lots more!

Another key is not to be shy about asking and or telling them what you are looking for. Estate sale people will even seek you out or give you hints or first dibs if they know what you're looking for and are willing to pay a fair price up front.

Not everyone will want to dedicate themselves to hunting down the sales, but if you're a frugal artist, like myself, give it a try! You never know what you'll find!



6 comments:

stacilouise said...

Sounds fun!!!! I love thrifting, but I am not as dedicated as you! ( I mostly get stuff for the kids). Though I have scored things to use as display items.

Courtney said...

What a great post! Thanks for the info and a glimpse of your treasures.

Linda Sadler said...

I am so envious-I love a yard/estate sale! Haven't been so lucky with my finds but still enjoy the hunt. It makes me so happy when I do find a treasure.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I love going to sales. I have been wanting to go to estate sales, but never seem to be able to actually plan for that because my "garage sailing" usually happens on a whim. Now that I am seeing what you have gotten, I am definitely going to make a plan. I love that dental drawer! Thanks for the great information, Barbara!
MaryAnn

Shelley Graham Turner said...

Oh thanks for the heads-up Barbara. That drawer of metal excites me! I am off to find some sales...

Cluny Grey (aka Donnachloe). said...

I want those dental drawers! Those are the perfect, easy-to-get-to storage!

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