The outlets below are good sources of art making or crafting materials in or around Chicago. Some of these organizations offer educators deep discounts or free educational materials for their classes. I will try to update this when new organizations start up and others close.
1. The WasteShed - "The Wasteshed is a nonprofit with creative reuse centers in Chicago and Evanston. We collect reusable art and school materials that would otherwise be thrown away... and make them available to teachers, artists, and anyone who needs them, at low or no cost.
2. Chicago Creative ReUse Exchange - At the Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx) we believe that "trash is just a failure of imagination."
"We are a 501c3 nonprofit that redistributes donated surplus materials, equipment, and supplies. We keep good things out of the landfill and get them into the hands of people who can use them. We focus on Chicago teachers and their students, non-profit organizations, and arts and community groups, but we're open to everyone. We promote creativity, a circular economy, and environmental stewardship through creative reuse programming, products, and partnerships.
Our goal is to educate and empower people to reduce waste, reimagine surplus and make creative reuse a fundamental part of our collective infrastructure."Location and Hours
Envision Unlimited Frick Center
2124 W. 82nd Place
Chicago, IL 60620
Open by Appointment
Wednesdays + Thursdays 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
3. SCARCE - "We help people discover how easy it can be to make a meaningful difference for our kids, for our environment, for our future…and often for all three at once."
4. Zero Landfill Chicago - "ZeroLandfill™ is an award winning upcycling program held seasonally that supports the supply needs of local artists and arts educators while reducing pressure on local landfill capacity. Since 2008, the ZeroLandfill™ Chicago team has partnered with the architectural and interior design community in identifying, diverting from local landfills and re-purposing back into the community over 500,000 pounds of expired specification samples that hold value for other audiences. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information."
5. ReUse Depot - "To keep reusable building materials from entering the landfill. We are able to do this by promoting environmentally friendly deconstruction over traditional demolition, thereby saving the embodied energy that went into the making of the original building materials. These materials are then harvested from our deconstruction sites, brought to our warehouse, and offered for sale to the general public at a fraction of their original cost. Together, Reuse Depot Inc. and Blue Earth Deconstruction work to provide you a tax-deductible donation method for any size donation of reusable building materials that we are able to accept. No donation is too large or too small for us to consider. From a kitchen or bathroom sink that is no longer needed to a full house deconstruction, we have the means and methods to assist you through your donation."
6. All American Reclaim - Reclaimed wood and salvaged material.
7. American Science and Surplus - This outlet is a mix of surplus and retail.
8. Ebay, Facebook MarketPlace. Warning! These can be good places to find what you need, however, some entrepreneurially-minded folks are grabbing listing photos from some of the sites above and posting the items at a high markup on these online marketplaces. Proceed with caution.
9. Thrift Stores.
10. Garage/rummage sales.
11. Flea Markets
This is the bead pattern ChatGPT gave me for an ice crystal. I am looking up diagrams of Ice I-h. ChatGPT neglected to inform me that I need to aim for tetrahedral bonding angles at 60-degrees. I think I will also need some short bugle beads- two per "oxygen". Hydrogens should be size 8 or smaller and oxygen-size 6 seed beads or a miracle bead.
- Clear beads (for hydrogen) ((size 8 seed beads))
- White beads (for oxygen) ((4mm white Miracle beads))
((-short clear bugle beads))
- Beading thread
1. Thread a needle with a long piece of beading thread and tie a knot at one end.
2. String one white bead onto the thread and slide it down to the knot. This will be the center bead of your ice crystal.
3. String three clear beads onto the thread and pass the needle through the white bead to create a triangle of beads.
4. String two clear beads onto the thread and pass the needle through the next clear bead in the triangle.
5. String one white bead and two clear beads onto the thread and pass the needle through the next clear bead in the triangle.
6. Repeat step 5 two more times to complete the first layer of the ice crystal. You should have a hexagon shape formed by the white beads.
7. To create the second layer, string one clear bead and two white beads onto the thread and pass the needle through the next clear bead in the first layer.
8. Repeat step 7 until you have completed the second layer. You should have a hexagon shape formed by the white beads, with a clear bead in the center of each white bead.
9. To create the third layer, repeat steps 3-8, alternating between clear and white beads in each layer.
10. Continue adding layers until your ice crystal is the desired size and shape.
11. Once you have completed the desired number of layers, tie off the thread and trim the excess.
12. Your beaded ice crystal, with its hexagonal crystal structure made of oxygen and hydrogen atoms, is complete!
Note: You can adjust the size and shape of the ice crystal by using different sizes of beads, and by varying the number of layers.
(I asked it to provide me with a diagram in clear and white beads):
Layer 1: Layer 2: Layer 3:
W C W C W
C C W C C W C C
C C C W W C C C C
C C W C C W C C
W C W C W
The Evanston Biennial is up and open. Go see it! There are so many great pieces each by an outstanding artist. I saw artists that I've worked and exhibited with for decades and met wonderful up-and-coming talent.
The EAC space is great for showing art, but the acoustics made it very difficult for conversation. I wanted to talk to everyone, so I was losing my voice by the time we left.
Julie Mars' current events, projects, & inspirations.