Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Curious Collections and Oddities Part 1

Curious Collections

Altered Cigar Box
D. Tedeschi 

I am a member of Teesha and Tracy Moore's 
Artstronauts Club. It's a fantastic gathering of artists and like minded souls. It costs a mere $5.00 a month to join. There is so, so much inspiration on this site. Awesome!!!!  Recently Tracy shared one of his first journals and talked about the early history of Zettiology on the club site. Really cool stuff and it reminded of all the swaps I had hosted when I first discovered the art of Teesha and Tracy back in the mid 90's. I became obsessed and couldn't get enough of it. 

Art Doll
Inspired by Teesha and 
her quilted 'pillow' technique.
Susie Lafond

As I started to explore the world of mixed media one of the things I did was join as many art groups that I could find that were on line at the time, and in a matter of months had discovered an entire community of like minded artists. These folks were not only sharing their work on line but also hosting swaps of various kinds where they were trading their original art work with each other. I soooooo jumped onto this freight train and for a couple of years I went swap crazy. In doing so I amassed a wonderful collection of artist trading cards, stamps, mini books, tags, and other delightful oddities. 

Dangly Thingy Swap
Art by 
S. Meyers

Once I had gotten my feet wet and knew my way around the 'swap' block I began hosting my own and one of my all time favorite swaps was my 'Zettiology' altered cigar box swap.
Each of us had to alter a cigar box Zetti, style and then include a 'Zetti-artifact'; one for each of the players; if memory serves me, I believe there were a dozen or so of us who participated.

These are some of the boxes created in that swap.
A few generous players included an additional box that they had made for me to keep, along side the box that was made to be swapped. The generosity of artists is something I cherish and hold dear. 

Each person then mailed their boxes and artifacts to me and I, in turn swapped out the contents of each box and each player received another artist's box filled with 12 different 'artifacts', one from each player. It was one of the coolest and funkiest swaps I ever hosted and I am kind of thinking this would be fun to do again. Swaps are a ton of work and postage back in 2004 was quite a bit cheaper. A large flat rate box was maybe $8.00 or so. Now it would be costlier and not sure if there would be as much interest as there was back then. Everyone was hosting swaps and trading art. It was to say the least, a very generous period in the community of artists who had just begun to discover the world of artist blogs and websites. Facebook and Etsy were still in their infancy.

I have a wonderful collection of artist trading cards and all manner of different things scattered around my studio and I am constantly reminded of the sweet artists who shared them and the fun and enjoyment of trading and sharing art. 

Art doll
artist unknown

Over the next few days I will share each of these creations and their contents. Some of these boxes were not signed by the artists who created them so I will do my best to identify each artist and I apologize when there is no signature on a piece. 
(if you happen to be the artist of something you see, please do let me know so I can credit your work)

Altered  Zettiolgy themed cigar box
D. Tedeschi 
Top view.

Side view.
Back side.
Other side.
Inside lid.
The 'Zettiology' inspired 'artifacts' inside.

The artifacts.
My personal favorite. 
Pointy hat 
Lou McCullough

Artist unknown.

Artist unknown.

Artists unknown.

This was my contribution.
I added a little packet of 
'magic' seeds on the back 
of each of these.

Artist unknown.

Artist unknown.

Artist unknown.

Artists unknown.

L. Leonard.

Left: by Linda Koch.
Center: Artist unknown.
Right: by Dragon Lady.

Left: Artist unknown.
Center: Candy Phillips
Right: Ellen Grandman

Left: Punwit
Right: Ellen Grandman
Many tiny 'artifact' books.
Artists unknown.
Secret Life: by Laurie Gatlin.
Lou McCullough

More to come.


  1. Thanks for sharing! those were the swapping hey days~
    (when everyone had their "stamping" name) :)

  2. So good to see this great post from you. I remember the good old swap days. Hope you are doing much better and looking forward to your next online class.

  3. Thank you for the post. The swap art is beautiful. I hope you do host a swap. I would love to be involved.

  4. Your back story joining all the online groups and doing swaps sounds like mine :) And someone I don't think I ever ended up in one of your swaps. But if you host anymore swaps I would love to play!!

  5. Your back story joining all the online groups and doing swaps sounds like mine :) And someone I don't think I ever ended up in one of your swaps. But if you host anymore swaps I would love to play!!

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