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1. Computer vinyl--from sign shops--This is similar to the most
gorgeous contact paper. Kids cut out shapes, peel off the backing paper
and stick down to a variety of surfaces--slick, like a plastic plate,
works best. I found out about this from Dave Robinson at the Vero Beach
Florida Center for the Arts at a kitemaking workshop. We have used this
material in a variety of ways for family days at the Wichita Art Museum.
2. About an hour's drive north of Vero Beach (help me out here South
Florida teachers--I don't remember exactly where) was a factory which
made football helmets. The punch-outs of the foam rubber lining make
incredible stamps. Almost every community has amazing punch-outs from
industry which can be used to great advantage if you can find people to
alert you to them and save them for you. Of course, safety is a factor
here. Be sure the materials are non-toxic and too big to swallow.
3. My local grocery store (Dillons) photo lab saves for me cardboard
cylinders that the photographic paper comes on--also the black plastic
"wheels" inside these cylinders, and film containers.
4. Framing shops will save you the matboard cut from the inside of
mats--millions of uses for that.
5. I saw some incredible figures at our recent art show created from
old bowling pins which had been painted with acrylic paint.
Can't wait to hear about your finds.--Marcia