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© Joan Currie – Saluda, South Carolina

Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.

Over the last several years I have taken many online and in-person art and craft classes. Instructors routinely have provided students with a list of materials needed for each class. At first I thought it was necessary to buy everything on the list, but unfortunately, practically every instructor had a different set of material preferences so the cost of the more expensive supplies became prohibitive. I finally decided to start making do with what I had.
One of my favorite mop brushes came from the town of Saluda, South Carolina. I was walking along the side of a dirt road when I noticed a very large, and thankfully dead, rattlesnake in my path. Oddly, next to the rattlesnake lay a watercolor mop brush. Although it had seen better times – the wooden handle was chipped in many places and the ferrule was dented, the bristles appeared intact. I snatched it up and quickly moved on! On closer examination, the bristles were soft and full, and it has turned out to be the best brush in my stash for doing large color washes.
I have made similar but not so exciting finds at Goodwill, garage sales, and in nature. Not having all the designated workshop supplies has not been a barrier to entry for my creative pursuits. In fact, sometimes the found supplies have been the most enjoyable to use!