urban ore

just writing to share with you about an inspiring trip my family took over to berkeley about a week ago to check out a place called urban ore. it’s one of those amazing salvage yards where any and everything can be upcycled and repurposed. love their motto: “to end the age of waste.” cheers to that!

i could have spent alllllll day there (and then some) drooling over amazing finds and dreaming up new ways to use these treasures, but with the little one in tow, we lasted about an hour. it started to sprinkle when we were there (first raindrops we’ve experienced since may!)

sweet aqua sink (i mean, if it were clean.)

my intention was to purchase a farm house window, and that’s this place’s “bread and butter” as they put it. they have a HUGE stash of windows and doors. the windows that are in condition to be reinstalled start at $20 each for an 18″ window, and they increase in 6″ and $5 increments.

THEN they have the section where some of the windows are broken or not suitable for installing in a home and ALL OF THOSE ARE $5 REGARDLESS OF SIZE. perfect for the artist or decorator. score!

there is a huge indoor warehouse part with odds and ends, furniture, pieces of furniture, books, electronics, housewares, etc.

random stuff stored in distressed drawers. love that.

inside i found a great wooden bowl where i can keep natural art materials, some ball jars, and these lovely photography contrast filters (for the darkroom) that are made from hard plastic. i can’t wait to see what N wants to do with them artistically! (light table trinkets? suncatcher? what would you make?)

now i just need to make a trip over to SCRAP in SF at some point — but i have to say that it’s hard to stick to my purging and simplifying goals when there are so many great raw materials to hoard! stock up on for art’s sake!

what are your favorite treasures to find for upcycled creative pursuits? where do you get them?


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  • http://TinkerLab.com Rachelle | TinkerLab

    We get ours at the same places as you :) We scored a fabulous old horizontal filing cabinet and super-cute curly wooden dresser feet at Urban Ore — we put them together, painted the whole thing a new color (thanks to my husband and brother-in-law), and now we have a really cool toy cabinet. I’m also in purge mode, but when I wasn’t I would spend hours popping in and out of thrift stores for the perfect find. I still love to score treasures, but I’m also glad to be more of a minimalist than I was in my past.

  • http://www.happylittlemesses.com Jena@HappyLittleMesses

    There is a swap shed at our recycle center. We just scored lots of tools for play dough there. There’s also a really great Freecycle vibe going on in these parts.

  • http://artandsoulcounseling.com sabrina

    i am sooooo inspired by your blog and others this morning jen!!! thanks for introducing me to this world of crafty, loving mammas. we do have to transform our previous artist selves when we become mothers. excited my little sophie is now approaching 3 years of age and has a baby brother who will someday make art with us too. much fun to be had! love to all,
    sabrina in bozeman