Collecting Materials


My interest in collage and altered books has compelled me to become a scavenger. When I am wandering around outside I am always on the lookout for interesting bits of natural materials, like the above acorn caps I found the other day as I walked back to work after an errand. I pick up things like this because there is something about them that attracts me, like the shapes, even if I have no idea how I can use them in future work.


These are some of the many feathers I’ve collected or been given and I’ve started keeping them all together in box. The feathers in the photo above are a mix from peahens, chickens and crows. I have lots of lovebird feathers as well as ones from a cockatoo.


Leaf skeletons are another natural item I’m always on the look out for, but they aren’t easy to find since Vancouver’s wet climate typically causes leaves to rot away. In the spring I came across layers of magnolia leaf skeletons under a bush in Stanley Park and I’ve used a few of them in my work, but I haven’t come across any more since then. Anne gave me the small box of holly leaf skeletons pictured here, and they are absolutely lovely.

Hopefully my collecting won’t get too out of control as time goes on, but it’s pretty typical of collage makers to have HUGE stashes of stuff. I guess the theory is that you can never have too much material to work with.

3 thoughts on “Collecting Materials

  1. Roberta says:

    I always feel compelled to pick up feathers from wild birds. I don’t know why. I love those leaf skeletons. I’ll have to pay attention and see if I can find any!

  2. Kat says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed leaves like that before. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them as well.

  3. Rachael says:

    I think it’s because feathers are just generally interesting Roberta.

    Kat, the climate isn’t ideal for holly in Ontario. It’s an introduced species here and it’s one of many plants that goes crazy in the Vancouver climate.

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