The image I made and sent to my swap partner.
I participated in #Craftsocial’s ATC swap on Swap-Bot and it was so much fun! It had been a while since I had made any ATC’s and I had a great time getting back into it. Thanks so much to Valerie (http://www.hollandcox.com/) for organizing this! For those not aware, ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. They are similar to baseball and hockey trading cards but made as miniature pieces of art. It’s a lovely way for artists to share their works with each other and I find it exciting to work in a smaller format. The standard size of ATC’s are 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches (same size as standard playing cards) and it’s best not to make them too bulky but other than that, there are really no restrictions to them. A caveat here – those who originated ATC’s in 1997 in Switzerland also state one additional rule: ATC’s are supposed to be traded, never sold.
The ATC I made and sent to Valerie, our swap host!
I have made and seen ATC’s out of thick paper or cardboard, fabric, felt, metal, clear plastic, and more. You can make them as small paintings, collages, quilts, embroidery…pretty much anything you can think of! Some people change the formats of ATC’s by adding pockets to them, turning them into triptychs, or making them unfold to reveal the artwork inside. You can add all kinds of embellishments to ATC’s – I have put charms on mine (either glued onto the ATC itself or dangling off of the ATC), added beads and fibres to them (glued or sewn on), found tiny seashells and pebbles to give them dimension, and so much more. As I said before though, most people prefer that you don’t make them too bulky because a) they are often exchanged through the mail and this will add to the costs of mailing and b) many people like me, store them in binders of those plastic pages with the appropriately sized pockets in them made for baseball/hockey cards etc. and the added dimension can make it trickier to store them. I know of companies online that will sell ATC blanks – usually pieces of cardstock pre-cut into the appropriate sizes but you can certainly make use of recycling materials such as cereal boxes to make your own. Gotta love turning trash into art!
One of the two ATC’s I received from Kathleen (@refashionology on Twitter).
This link will take you to a pattern that shows you how to cut ATC’s so that you can get 10 of them out of one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of cardstock: http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/mirkwooddesigns/tcdiag.htm
This link takes you to a site where you can print off a pattern to fold into an envelope sized just for ATC’s: http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/mirkwooddesigns/atcenvelope.htm
This link is for a printable template to make a playing card box – which of course also makes it perfectly sized for ATC’s as well!: http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/mirkwooddesigns/playingcardbox.htm
The other ATC I received from Kathleen (@refashionology on Twitter).
(Note: I apologize for the poor quality of the photos – I am currently away from home and have to make do with the resources and lighting I have on hand here!)
Bernie Berlin (@aplacetobark on Twitter) has a WONDERFUL book on Artist Trading Cards filled with samples and techniques! http://www.amazon.com/Artist-Trading-Card-Workshop-Collect/dp/1581808488/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b