Craft & Design

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Here’s a really attractively displayed project by H. Mathis:

Using Craigslist, I posed a listing in every state. Each had to be unique. The Craigslist post read that I was working on an art project. (oh man, do people love that) I explained that I created a dirt retrieval system to get the dirt back to me, postage paid. They simply had to go into their backyard, collect it, and throw it in the mail. Due to postage each kit cost me around 10 dollars. I ended up sending out over 100 kits to receive the 52 state total. I unexpectedly learned many many things from this collection. The massive differences in soil from each state, the stories told from each individual sending the dirt in, oh…and the dirt from Hawaii is cursed…

I would have liked to see the state dirt arranged in a topographical representation of the states’ landforms, but maybe that’s asking too much.

8 thoughts on “Dirt from Every State

  1. 52 states? Who taught this guy geography?
    There are 50 states, 2 federal districts, and five major overseas territories.

  2. Tongue-in-cheek or not, it’s still wrong and it’s frustrating. Going through the photos, they included DC and PR, but clearly listed them as states.
    On another note, it’s a cute idea!

  3. Thank you Camilla–it’s been too long since my geography classes in school (30 years) and I couldn’t remember about the federal districts and overseas territories. I had to sit and think about it really hard–just wondered when the last two states were added and how had I missed it!! I know I’m getting old, but I didn’t think senility had set in yet.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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