Scavenging for Graphics: Labels—A Cabinet Full

November 7, 2012

Above: Spice tins and such in a cabinet at a "collectibles" market.

Some of my most enjoyable moments are spent peering into cabinets at antiques stores, reading labels, checking out color combinations, type use, product names, and slogans. There's a world of life in these cabinets, forgotten, yet still dimly viewable.

  1. Reply

    I just bought/read the book ‘Creative Time and Space’ by Rice and you were one of the artists in the book I didn’t know about – so I came to visit and say HI. I had fun exploring your blog and art (I LOVE Carl!!!) – wonderful work!

  2. Reply

    Oh yes…I really like the little ‘Jack Sprout’ in the bottom corner! and the ship…and the Dutch children…sigh. Will we be seeing some of your art derived from this photo?

  3. Reply

    Marit, thank you for coming to visit. Ricë’s “Creative Time and Space” is a great book and I’m proud that she included me but also really enjoyed all the conversations she and I have had about time and space!
    I’m glad the book brought you here, and that you love Carl!! Hope you find lots of ways to increase your creative time reading Ricë’s book!

  4. Reply

    Dianne, I love the Jack Sprat pepper too, so many things seemed to have nursery rhyme tie ins. I also like that Puritan tin in the back with the ship on it.

    Nope, there will be no art from anything in this photo. The “Scavenging for Graphics” series that I do on Wednesdays (not every Wed. but sometimes several in a row) is about “collecting” with my camera so that I don’t bring a lot of stuff into the already clogged house! Also, I don’t really enjoy drawing still-life compositions.

    What I think does happen, however, is the typography and the composition of these pieces that I like to go into the visual hopper of my brain, perhaps to come up in some future project or artwork in ways that I can’t even imagine. So for instance years from now you might be looking at the blog (HA) and suddenly realize I’m putting rounded frames on everything (not going to happen, but I’m just using that as an example), or I’ll do something with type or lettering that seems familiar.

    So in that way all this visual stuff that I digest might leak out. But for now they are forgotten. And I don’t have to dust anything more!

    • chris Tincher
    • November 7, 2012

    Can you please give me the name of the shop and town it is in that has the spice tins from your picture….I am a long time collector and they have one I am after and would love to call and see if they still have it for sale…thanks Chris

  5. Reply

    Chris, I’m so sorry, I wish I could. When I go on a road trip with this particular friend we drive all around and (gasp) I don’t pay attention tow how we are going and where we are going (as in what location). If it’s a weekend long or week long trip I keep a journal and keep track of everything, but this was a day trip when I had a bad shoulder so I didn’t even have a note pad to jot things down.

    We went to several towns in Minnesota south of the Twin Cities and were in umpteen stores and collectible markets (lots of “stalls” under one roof) and she likes different things from what I like so this doesn’t look familiar to her at all.

    If you tell me which spice tin it was in the shot that you collect I will keep my eye out for it and keep your name on a file on my computer and let you know if I ever see another, because of course we’ll go on more road trips!

    I’m so sorry—after a lifetime of taking notes on EVERYTHING, current events have made it impossible for me to keep notes on anything. Sorry to let you down. Sigh.


    • chris Tincher
    • November 7, 2012

    Hey no big deal….thanks for the answer..the hiawatha brand was the one I was after….I have collected spice tins for around 20 years and would love to share some pictures with you some time if you find them interesting. please feel free to email me and I could send you some pix….I collect all brands with pictures on them. I love the old time feeling and how they used pictures to sell the product.
    Thanks for the feedback!!
    Chris From Kansas

  6. Reply

    Chris, I’ll keep my eye open for Hiawatha brand—I live in the land of Hiawatha! I’d love to see a couple photos of brands you collect. Do you have a flickr page or site where they are posted?

    In the meantime I will keep my eyes peeled for Hiawatha brand.

    • chris Tincher
    • November 8, 2012

    Thanks!! I dont have a page of any sort at this time….guess I should. If you want I cna email them to you…just let me know Thanks again!

  7. Reply

    I love old timey tins too, but not as collector items. I am mostly an assemblage artist, and the owners of the shops don’t like the idea that I would “deconstruct” their tins and they want a fortune for them anyway. If you see tins in art they were found at thrift shops and the collectors keep an eye out for that.
    The arthritis in my hands is getting to bad to do 3d work so I’m trying to learn watercolor. It’s harder than one might think.

  8. Reply

    Molly, I’m sorry you’ve had to give up your 3-D work, but I’m glad that you are working away at watercolor.

    The “deconstruct” issue is something that altered book artists face all the time. I don’t do many altered books any more, but years ago I did a bunch and people would always say, “How could you destroy that book?”

    Well the books I used were always scheduled for the pulp heap, damaged already, etc. Not first editions, not important books, and I had something to say.

    There’s always going to be someone who’s upset with anything that gets “repurposed.”

    Have fun with the watercolor!

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