By Joe Carrel, Buffalo Exchange Tempe
Long before Macklemore, I knew the thrift shop was the place to be. Salvaging items that others discarded can be lots of fun, but I soon realized that I needed to focus my hunting. Having two dozen disparate items on the wall can make your home resemble a TGI Friday’s, while two dozen of the same type of item can carry a powerful dose of intention.
So, here and there I began accumulating wooden tennis racquets (some spell it “racket,” but that’s not as quaint). I didn’t know what I’d do with them; I simply liked the bright designs and retro feel of the wood—definite Richie Tennenbaum vibe. One day, about a year later while picking up two racquets that lay askew atop each other, I noticed that the layered strings formed an interesting honeycomb effect. That was all it took. Before I knew it, my collection was strewn across my living room floor as I feverishly began attaching the racquets together to see what cool patterns I could make.
When friends learned of my burgeoning collection, they began pitching in racquets they would find on their thrift store hunts. As my storage space dwindled, I knew that I had to take action. I went public with my “racquet sculptures,” teaming up with a friend to form Grass and Clay. And I gotta say, so far, so good. I was flattered when Buffalo Exchange asked me to create the one pictured above for the fantastic new store in Astoria, NY.
Get out there and find some orphaned item(s) that you can put a fresh spin on. It’s the most fun way to recycle (other than trading in your clothes at Buffalo, of course!).
An appreciator of good beer and bad cinema, Joe is the Internal Marketing Coordinator for Buffalo Exchange. An artist and children’s author, he can often be found perusing Phoenix thrift stores for obscure trophies and cheesy album covers.