Monday, February 4, 2008

Trash Palace

One of my favourite places to rummage through here in Porirua is Trash Palace. Not for the fainthearted, nor the perfectionist but rather the opportunist, the gatherer, the thoughtful who would use something from here than purchase it new from down the road at the mall.

Dear friend Wini and I decided to drop in on our way past yesterday. She had to drive me everywhere because dumbdumb me locked my keys in my car AGAIN. One of those alarm self-locking devices that are great for deterring break ins but hopeless for an airhead like me who always forgets to disarm it and leaves her keys on the seat inside while I am distracted. Last time I did it at Alena's house. Who is Alena? Read on ... Here is Trash located at the entrance to the Landfill high up above Porirua and under Colonial Knob, a big hill that looks like a mountain (We have lots of those in Wellington).
Definitely some of the best views of the city are from our city dump. Shame. That's one of the two harbours in Porirua. Overcast day, grey and bleak but cheery nonetheless cause we are girls on a mission. Shopping.
My darling friend Alena. We have been friends forever. Our sons are growing up together. She's looking good these days. A bit of romance in the air helps. She's always smiling, is warm and friendly. Doesn't whinge. Authentic, kind, caring. One of those people I love to spend time with. She's another earth person, teaches me through her example how to live wisely, laughs at me all the time because for a Maori, I am citified; and lately running off every weekend to every tree hugging, reggae summer festival. We are going for to another friend's cocktail bar this Friday and hopefully we get to meet her new friend. That hand mirror is Bakelite and only $10.
Tea anyone? My mother is mad for teapots, cups and tea parties. I quite liked that blue china cup but left it for someone else to enjoy. One teapot person per family is enough I think.

more china and stuff ....
The wall of collectibles. Old tins, gollywogs (not the politically correct name for them you know), tin toys, Kiwiana, books, mags, comics, etc.
The pottery table and a view of the bric a brac area. A new manager has sure made a noticeable difference. Everything is tidy and organised. Definitely better but somehow I liked the adventure of rummaging and finding things UNDER other things. The unexpected. Somehow with everything laid out, that dynamic is missing. New manager is a young woman, sorry name alludes me here but I met her and she seems very nice and by the looks of the changes astir, on-to-it as well.
A funny old bag full of hair curlers anyone? I keep thinking "I am an artist, what can I do with these?" and you know what? I can think of NOTHING but the novelty of them has me thinking this every time I see them.
Something nostalgic about these old tins. I have a few for my sewing threads and any other excuse whenever I find a cool one that must come home with me.
So much stuff. Better here though than filling the landfill. And often I walk out with an armful for only a few dollars. Much better than The Warehouse, NZ's famous bulk store. And so much more character. And lately I have been thinking that if those things sold at The Warehouse and The $2 Shop are so cheap, how much do the folk who make them get paid? My awareness about Fair Trade and work being sent off shore to Asian countries where workers get paid a pittance is growing slowly. Part of the spin off effect of being an artist is the thought that I now put into my art supplies and resources. I don't hug trees but I do think I can make a difference. I can get a roll of retro wallpaper here for $1. The Scrapbooking shops sell one piece of 12x12 for nothing less than $2. Lots of old readers digest books and so forth, great for altered art work - grab a bundle for a couple of bucks. So I try to use these places first and avoid the art shop in the city and the local Spotlight if I can. Not always possible, but my small contribution. Coming to appreciate that the kind of creativity I aspire to is not so much the sticking together of ready made things, but the process of actually creating my own resources to start with. Felted wool, handmade papers, twine, dyed silk from old kimonos. Wool for instance is a renewable resource. India Flint discusses the wisdom of this on her website. It just makes so much sense. You shear the sheep of it's wool in summer and it grows back. Why on earth are we making plastic fabrics? I learned that if you burn fabric, synthetics melt and a tiny hard plastic bead remains. Why wear fabrics that don't breathe. Probably don't break down for years. Why do we buy so many clothes to start with? Yup, I'm changing and learning it and feeling a bit kinder towards this beautiful planet that God, ultimate artist created.
Ten million cups. So much more interesting to have cups in your cupboard that DON'T match. Depending on my mood, I can have a big cup or a little cup, and my latest favourites that perch on a wee pedastal like a wine glass. All my store bought cups are now chipped or broken. I buy pottery ones from here. Nothing like a clay cup that someone formed with their hands. That cup of coffee becomes so much more precious.
Half of Trash is bric a brac (clothes, small house items, books etc) and the top half is furniture, building supplies and BIG THINGS. I saw a garden shed there yesterday and honestly got to thinking how I could use it??? Like I need a garden shed.
Flash Trash is where the identifiably desirable things are located in another building. Antiques, kitsch, and stuff. Come have a look in here ...
They have lots of those vintage radios in at the moment. I wish I could get one going ... Might ask my dad, he's an ex-electrician.
The obligatory trunks ranging around $40+ I think. Items in this area are pricier but I think still less than the antique and collectable stores around town.
This really cool rocking chair (the back is part of an old wooden packing case) and check out all those groovy radios behind it, the old singer sewing machine' the typewriter sitting on a glory box. I have a glory box, my grandad built in and my grandmother gave it to me a few years back with her photos and years of diaries starting in the 1950's! Her life in written form. Very precious indeed.I don't think the mannequin is for sale but theres a little writing desk and hey, some more vintage radios.

A metal trunk, old drawers, one of those fancy turkish rug thingys.
An old organ thing, giant basket, vintage picnic basket backing onto a wall of old prints and paintings. This is where I found her, my $5 beauty (see earlier posting).
Another ten tables laden with kitchenware. Some Crown Lyn where my grandmother used to work by the way. Wished I'd had these tastes sooner, our cupboards only had Crown Lyn in them. Now it's worth a fortune.
The tubs out of washing machines are great planters, and some old corrugated iron. Wouldn't mind getting into this pile at some stage. This old iron makes a great canvas.
Chairs are fabulous. Nothing I love more than diving into a great book in a comfy spot. Some of these old beauties show up with gorgeous vintage fabric on them. Just need a polish and some TLC ...
More chairs. I think I have a chair thing. Like my button thing, and vintage thing, and doily thing, and strange objects thing. Can you see the cat laughing on the side of that box. Probably laughing at the mad woman taking photos of all the chairs.
Umbrellas. Well they are had-it, munted and forlorn but the patterns and colours make them stand out. And they are in a bunch. Like a collection. And I am a collector, so maybe that's why I had to take their picture. It's sad this place. Like a SPCA for pre-loved stuff all waiting for someone to come along and see the potential and write a new chapter in their lives.
The lamp/light section where my other beauty came from last week. I liked that blue one but I think my sons would protest having a lamp like that. I do romanticise that one day I can decorate my home to suit my flavours throughout but when that day comes, I know I will also miss my sons dearly. So the shade stayed.
A reluctant son posing amidst the mirrors. In his hand a bag of Lego to be treasured.
Suitcases. I have found a few great leather suitcases and vintage hard ones (couple of bucks each, I kid you not), great for storing my art in. I don't want to look at my art because I make such challenging things sometimes but I love the thought that they are safely tucked away in their treasure chests, awaiting me to discover them again. So there you have it. Not a lot to be personally had yesterday, a few old wool blankets I want to experiment with and a bag of lego for theBoy2. Wini found some clothes and linen. If you want to come visit and want a personal tour, be sure to let me know. Otherwise follow the link here to to find out more.

1 comment:

Ro Bruhn said...

WOW, trash heaven, thanks for sharing. I've never seen so much in the one place.