SCRAP Denton is full of reuse pushers. After you've hung out in their new digs on Bell for a while, made a few crafty friends, and taken a couple of classes you kinda get hooked on creative reuse. It can be addictive. With their new location, SCRAP is bigger and better than ever before, and with their upcoming fundraisers, summer camps and more, things only look to be getting better. We recently spoke with lead SCRAPer (our term, not hers), Heather Gregory, to get the low-down on all of the upcoming events happening at SCRAP. Oh, and she gives us insight on who is the craftiest person in Denton, teases an upcoming Mini Maker Faire to be held in Denton this fall, and a whole bunch more because she's busy like that. Read all about it in the interview below.
WE DENTON DO IT: Yo Heather. What's your deal?
HEATHER GREGORY: I’m a Denton native. I left for college and some exploring in other parts of the country for about 12 years and returned to Denton two and a half years ago. I’m the Director at SCRAP and when I’m not here I’m working at Cardo’s Farm Project or helping my husband with his ranching business, Thompson Meat Co.
Why do you, personally, like the idea behind SCRAP and why do you think it is beneficial to the Denton community?
I think that SCRAP is so important to the Denton community. It diverts usable materials from the waste stream and makes them available at very affordable prices to the community. We teach and encourage resourcefulness, innovation and problem solving through the practice of reusing and repurposing materials. SCRAP serves Denton’s creative and student populations and allows families and individuals on a budget to have access to quality art, craft and school supplies.
How have you been liking your new location so far? Has being so close to the Morrison Mills building somehow made you purchase more corn kits in your everyday life?
We love our new location! It’s big and open and our customers, volunteers and staff have more room to move, shop and work. I love that we are so close to a Denton landmark, but haven’t found myself eating more corn kits.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever sold at SCRAP?
A broken mandolin? Photos of family vacations from 1970? A hip hop spelling book?
Of course we get SUPER weird stuff donated that we can’t sell. Most recently it was somebody’s pony tail. That’s right. A pony tail chopped off like they were going to donate it to Locks of Love and took it to the wrong organization.
As a self-identifying “Not exactly crafty” person, why should I come check out SCRAP?
We have materials that everyone needs from time to time. Paper (printer, notebook, construction), greeting cards, gift wrap, pens and pencils, notepads, picture frames, and so much more. If you have kids, we are a great place to shop for school supplies and projects. If you rip your shirt, we have sewing kits and patches.
On the flip side, you could donate materials to us. You don’t have to be necessarily crafty to recognize that your wine corks, bottle caps, or left over materials would be useful for somebody else. Have old CD’s, maps, wrapping paper, stationary or decorations from your kids party? We take all that stuff!
During our last visit, we noticed local artist, Mick Burson, hard at work on a mural on the side of your new building. Can you tell us the story behind that?
A few months ago Lauren Barker from Keep Denton Beautiful approached me because they wanted to coordinate public art for a beautification project and she was looking for a place to put a mural. We’ve wanted a mural on the south side of our building since before we moved in so I was thrilled that she thought of SCRAP. Mick is a long time shopper and one of my favorite local artists so I was really hoping we could get him to do the job. It all worked out and the project will be done soon.
We know that you’re also involved with the upcoming Mini Maker Faire. What can you tell us about that?
I lived in Portland, OR for a few years and worked at their first Mini Maker Faire. I watched kids work on soldering and circuit building, saw a blacksmithing demonstration and had a smoothie that was made with a bike powered blender. Denton has such a thriving and diverse maker community and I want us to have a place to come together, learn, share, experiment and celebrate what Denton is making. So I organized a group of people to see if they would help me produce the event. On the leadership team we have representation from UNT, TWU, Denton Public Libraries, TechMill, Denton Maker Collective, Explorium and SCRAP.
Denton’s first ever Mini Maker Faire is happening October 17, 2015 at the Denton Civic Center. Applications for exhibitors are now open and we are currently seeking sponsors. I hope that our exhibits are hands on, educational and that people come away having learned a new skill as well as a better understanding of the amazing stuff that’s being made in Denton.
Are you tired from doing so many damned things, Heather?
Yes and no. I love organizing people and facilitating creativity which is why I love my job at SCRAP. I also really value my quiet time away from work where I spend time with plants and animals instead of people.
Does SCRAP you have any cool events coming up in the future that you can tell us about?
Yes! On Saturday June 6th we are having our Futurist Fundraiser here at SCRAP. All of the funds raised will go to support our education program operations and contribute to the scholarship fund. We will have beer and wine, a decadent dessert bar with goodies provided by Beth Marie’s, Mom’s on Main, Extreme Cuisine and Sugar Queen Cupcakes. There will also be a silent art auction with amazing work from local artists. Tickets are $45 each ($80 for a pair) and can be bought online.
What can you tell us about Camp SCRAP?
Camp SCRAP is for kids ages 6-12 and it’s a week long art camp. They explore the possibilities of all of the discarded materials in the world around us, play games, try experiments, and make quality, useful projects infused with their own artistic ideas. Camp SCRAP is centered on themes of creative reuse and making the most of your materials.
School’s Out, SCRAP’s In is for kids who like creating but maybe don’t want a week long intensive. It goes on throughout the summer on Wednesday afternoons from 1-4.
SCRAP has what you call a Re:Boutique. What types of things do you sell there and what is the story behind it?
The Re:Boutique where we sell finished products made of 75% or more reused and repurposed materials. It’s all handmade locally and we sell anything from furniture to jewelry to home decor which all make great gifts for a friend or for yourself. We love being able to support local artists by providing them a place to sell their work and it is also great inspiration for our customers. They see how somebody else has transformed plastic bags, soda cans or rulers and they get all sorts of ideas for what they could make.
Aside from yourself, who do you think is the “craftiest” person in Denton? Why?
Damn. That’s a hard one. We have so many crafty customers but I think if I had to choose one it’s Savannah Kurka of Savvie Design Co. Savannah is constantly coming up with new ideas and incorporates loads of reused and repurposed materials in her work. Whether it’s her fiber work, laser engraved signs or her amazing embroidered or laser cut jewelry. She has a true skill at turning discarded materials into quality products.