Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Book for a True Thrifter: American Junk

I apologize for the mediocre photography composition in all photos
Mary Randolph Carter's book of eclectic treasures American Junk was a lucky find from a local antique store, Fans And Stoves.

Carter's book isn't a traditional "how-to" guide. In American Junk Carter shows us pictures of her treasures arranged with an eye for balance and design. Carter is the Anti-Martha. Items aren't matchy-matchy, tones are sepia instead of pristine and pastel.

A scrapbook of Junk Sales ads

Written before Ebay, Etsy, and other websites made Thrifiting a potentially profitable hobby (1994), Carter writes innocently about the joys of thrifting, rummaging, and tackling antique stores. As a person of influence with money to accommodate "fancy" new purchases (prestigious career in Marketing at Ralph Lauren) she shops for the love of the hunt, not for potential savings.

Cozy. Can I check in, please?

I love how the pictures in the book don't speak an era. Nothing in this book suggests the still lives were arranged in 1994.

Not that I don't miss and love the 90s. Finding a good 90s vintage (ha) item is hard to do. Luckily I have a lot of my own from childhood.

The writing isn't bad, but the photographs really make this book. The photos feature artfully arranged "junk"; they are bright and inspiring. If you're itching for a trip to the antique store, this book has enough juicy bits to temporarily satisfy the urge. (Porn for thrifters, really.)

Purrfect (sorry) Kitty Collection

Enviable Teapot Collections.

Look, the perfect Kitch-Inn.

It's a book that will speak to a thrifter's soul.


Some people say it's garbage

Some people say it's junk

A little boat with a hole I caught before it sunk

A wad of bubble gum covered with green mold

An ice cream cone that wouldn't quite stay cold

A rusty bolt from a tattered old trunk

I think it's treasure...but they call it junk!

Adam Bushnoe
9 Years Old
Clay, New York


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