Collecting as a metaphor; crayons as history…

To collect crayons is to draw a new sense of history.

The history of art, and the history of corporations. The history of pop culture and the history of history itself, which turns out to be far more fluid and up for grabs than you might think.

Ask Ed Welter about any of this. And while you’re at it you can ask the Beaverton-based IT consultant and terrier-like collector of 2,400 (give or take) crayon containers about the relationship between collecting and a need for organization in a profoundly disorganized world.

“I suppose there’s an element of control in there, too,” Welter says, standing in front of a set of floor-to-ceiling shelves whose arrangement of crayon boxes, some dating back to the late 19th century, is what you might call orderly.

“My first wife thought I was obsessed,” he says. His current wife finds it less unsettling. “She’s into it, though she’s not really a collector.”

You either collect or you don’t. And Welter, obviously, collects.

The rest of the story, with a ton of cool photographs by Oregonian photographer Michael Lloyd, is here.