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A peek inside my collections: Found Art

This particular collection began around the same time I was making Artist Trading Cards. It fed into my love for odd found objects (like this note or this toy for example). I liked the romance of it. I like to imagine where these little things came from. Every thing has a story, and it’s those stories that fascinate me. Found items are capsules of tiny stories that are lost forever, tokens of our collected history.

It began with this:


I found it half buried in the snow. I called the number but there was never an answer. Instead of tossing this into the garbage I set it aside. I couldn’t help myself. Its lost story intrigued me.

This was the beginning of my Found Art project.

Before you all go thinking that I’m some kind of hoarder, I’m not. Exactly. There is rhyme and reason here. I only keep a small selection of what I find. Only certain things are worthy of being kept.

Every item is sealed in a tiny plastic bag and kept in a side table that has special storage under the lid and is reserved just for this purpose. Ironically, the table itself was also a roadside find.

Of course, my kids, being the magpies that they are, have been interested in mummy’s found art project since the beginning. Toddlers are already walking slowly, with heads down, ready to examine every bug, stone, or crack in the sidewalk they meet. Admittedly, their idea of “treasure” terrified me sometimes, because every once in awhile I’d hear them yelling “FOUND ART!” with undue glee and catch them reaching for pretty shards of broken glass. But they quickly learned what made for good finds and not-so-good finds. They have to be original specimens with a story that can be easily imagined.









My husband, who has a tendency to be more practical than I am, has brought his share of Found Art items home. One day he found some autopsy slides of someone’s organs on the side of the street (undoubtedly this was our most gruesome find), and every once in awhile he pulls a lost earring or other treasure out of his coat pocket with a “hey, look what I found.” Indeed, we are a family of magpies who flock to the shiny things littering the world around us.

Some day I would like to display our Found Art collection. I’d like to pin a selection of them, clothesline-style, in an open frame, perhaps in this kind of format. We could rotate them every once in awhile, and keep adding to our collection as we go.

The whole thing reminds me of some kind of modern day archeological dig. What do our things say about us? Especially the things we leave behind?



Mother of two imps and wife of one. Writer, photographer, pro blogger, adventure-seeker, Ottawaholic, social media evangelist and lover of STUFF. Also known as @missfish on Twitter.

One Response to “A peek inside my collections: Found Art”


As a fellow “Magpie,” I can certainly appreciate picking up of shiny objects! I love your idea of found art, and this is something I have been doing for a while myself. I am especially intrigued by odd shoes, and bits of clothing, and attempt to make up a story about them. Kids toys, or one shoe on the side of the road conjure up thoughts of sibling fights in the back seat, and items tossed out an open window!

What will future generations say of found items?


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