I forage at random for found material to use in my work — yesterday morning I went out for a walk with our two boy dogs, found more material than I could easily carry, and along came a Deadhead brother who reached out his hand to help carry half the load I was trying to haul.
So there I was in the dried out creak bed in the early morning sun, the leashed boys in tow, trying to carry a large bag full of rusted out bedsprings and a large bent out of shape yet in tact metal garbage can. I had stopped to readjust the load and was contemplating whether or not I could do this without really hurting myself — the path ahead is narrow and very rocky in parts as it skirts along the base of a mountain of reddish brown stone that looks like a pile of millions rocks and boulders of all shapes and sizes.
He showed up out of nowhere. I poked my head up from the load I was looking to consolidate somehow, and we just sort of nodded at each other. There was a pause, and then he simply asked me if I could use some help. I really paused then, looked at him and asked him if he was sure he wanted to do that. He said yes, and before I knew it, my load cut in half, off we went. The next thing I knew, we were sharing about being Deadheads and art.
What I look for when I forage is really anything that strikes me intuitively as usable in the artwork I do or may want to do. I am open to using all kinds of stuff, what I find in the open mountain/desert areas around here is mostly scrub brush, miscellaneous tossed wood, deadwood, and metal in various forms with or without rust. Anything that grows fascinates me, as do rocks, seeds, bones, whatever. But almost anything could be used in art, so I am open when it comes to foraging.
The best part about foraging is not knowing what you may find along the way — yesterday I not only found the material I was looking for, I got a hand from an unusually like-minded human being that I imagine I may run into again as we go down the road feeling... well you know. We, the dogs and I, are most grateful for Nate, a brother who offered help on the way. Peace.