Robot Profiles: Miss Murphy

Miss Murphy
Miss Murphy, was named for my mother-in-law.  Her pieces are from materials I found in her house a few years ago after she passed. As I was putting her together and thinking of stories about the time spent with Jean –  how she always made me laugh and how I always made her laugh too.

I miss murphy upclosewas thinking of the crazy hair that she would have and as when I was building her skirt, I thought “Miss Murphy would certainly not go outside of the house without being properly accessorized” so I decided to give her a little hand bag.

Of course she still has some wild hair – that goes with her wild style. For more pictures of Miss Murphy visit my Flickr page.

Robot Profiles : Captain Ginger

22580870023_15ec6bc4a9_o

This is Captain Ginger. As I was putting him together I started to paint the story in my mind ….a pudgy little kid with his bottom lip rolled up over the top. He’s running around the back yard with a piece of cloth that he found. He put some strings on it and it became a cape.

Now he’s jumping up over the picnic table and bench in the backyard. “Look at me mom! Look at me, I can fly” And as mom looks out from the kitchen window, she says “Sweetie, what a great cape! Of course you can fly!” 

superman

There are some aspects of him that make me think about the very end of Iron Giant when the giant is flying up and you hear Hogarth saying “You are who you choose to be”, then the giant says “Superman”.

Capt. Ginger was sold at the Boys and Girls Club Winter Craft Fair to a delightful older gentleman in his 90’s. He had been looking at him for 10-15 minutes; turning him over and studying all the parts/pieces. Then he turned to me, with the biggest smile on his face and said he’d like to take him home now. It totally made my day how happy this man was.

I can now picture that Capt. Ginger is sitting next to this man’s chair in his living room and each time he looks over there’s a lil’ sparkle in his eye thinking about when he was a little kid running through the yard with a cape. Man, I love what I do.

Robot Profiles: A Box of Art Supplies

What would you do with a box full of bolts and gears and random pieces of metal?

bolts-arrivalI received a package one afternoon (a very large and heavy package – condolences to the carrier that had to bring that parcel) which asked that very question.

It was story that started on Instagram with a challenge posed by a fellow artist named Bucket of Bolts. Each recipenent would take pieces from the box to create something, then add pieces from their shop before it headed out to the next artist chosen.

It arrived to me from Gunstone Creations and after 4 days of welding, cutting, grinding, drilling, hammering and bolting, it was done…well almost done. There was still a lot of sanding and paint prep to do. I started posting a daily play-by-play of all the fun I was having creating with this new supplies. Finally on day 5, it was complete. Meet Sir Bolts – he is created from about 50% box parts and 50% items I had in/around my shop.

sir-boltsHad an amazing time working on him, decided what pieces to add to the box and then choosing the next person to send it off to.

It went from the East Coast back to the West Coast into the talented hands of Joanie Butler, who created “Star Gazer” with the pieces.

You can follow all the fun by checking in on #boxofartsupplies and what will you create today?

Mixed Media & Monsoons on Mattoon

Now say that 3x fast – quite the tongue twister huh? I am a bit tongue-tied myself after winning First Place in the mixed media category at the Mattoon Street Art Festival. It was quite the morning as a rain storm (ok, maybe not a full-on monsoon) blew down the street knocking a few of the tents overs before the festival opened.

Was both surprised and delighted when a member of the Mattoon Street Historic Preservation Society, sponsors of the annual event, popped into my booth with a blue ribbon and a photographer.

It is quite an honor and being my first year at the show, I was humbled and appreciative of the award – look forward to seeing me (and my Shopbots!) again next year.

Here’s hoping the Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a dry weekend in 2017.

Maker-in-Residence: Fostering creativity through collaboration

I am very pleased to announce that I will be the Maker-in-Residence at the Danbury Library for the month of October. The role of the Danbury Library’s Maker-in-Residence is to brighten the light on unique creativity and create with the help of community influence. This influence will come from many different people – library patrons, members of the Connecticut Science Center & Danbury Library Teen Innovation Program, staff and community members. Everyone will be involved through active participation in shaping one or more of my creations through an exchange of ideas – that means you too.

Hope you will come out during one of my workshops on 10/22 or 10/29 both get started at noon. Not only will you get to see some of my latest creations, but you’ll be learning too. Just imagine the educational aspects to take away like:steam fair october

  • Math – Measuring and layout of parts for cutting, drilling and assembling
  • Science – Welding of molten metal and bending of heated steel.
  • Art Literacy – Transforming everyday junk into unique works of art.

See? It’s like a robot university! If you come, I will instruct our future overlords to kill you last 🙂

I will also be in attendance for the fall Steam Fair October 15th from 10am-5pm, a fun-filled day of innovation and imagination.

 

Rev up your engines

My Shopbots were at the Big E last weekend for The Collector Car Experience. In its second year, the show was held Sept. 18 the with hosts of Velocity channel fame, Mike Brewer, of Wheeler Dealers, and Chris Jacobs, of Overhaulin’.

This one-of-a-kind automotive event featured a first-rate lineup of cars from the 1900s to present – covering a broad range of Brass Era cars to Lamborghinis, Ferraris and many more. Unique, one-of-a-kind, first-rate? Sounds like a perfect fit for us.

An impressive lineup of automobiles, handpicked for their uniqueness and representation of over a century of automotive history. After being paraded across the stage, they were then on display in the arena. The cars, the hosts and I were all together after the event for a meet-and-greet. I got to hold a milk bottle from the Indy 500 courtesy of Jack Arute III and try not to gawk too much at the amazing vehicles while people were gawking at my Shopbots – all and all, quite a fun day.

collector-experience

The Mattoon Arts Festival

Mattoon Collage

An arts festival that is also a walk back in time – attached brick townhouses built in the 1870’s and 1880’s, herringbone brick sidewalks, stately London Plane shade trees, and cast iron ornamental street lights all contribute to the charm of this historic district.

The Mattoon Street Arts Festival is the longest running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley. Join me for the 44th edition of the festival, which will be held Saturday – Sunday, September 10 & 11, 2016

This outdoor arts and crafts show is held on a quaint street of restored brick Victorian rowhouses right in the middle of downtown Springfield, featuring 100 exhibitors, food vendors, and strolling musicians. Hope I’ll see you there next month.

 

From Scrap to Sculpture

from scrap to sculpture

With an every changing art scene in New England, how do you keep track of what to see right now? By using this site, that’s how. Alright, that might be a bit self-serving but I am so excited about my latest exhibit at The Elusie Gallery that I hope you’ll forgive me.

While making something from metal requires a lot of patience and skills, creating art from recycled metal materials takes even more time and accuracy. This group exhibition brings together a number of artists that work with found, reclaimed, re-purposed metal elements.

The From Scrap to Sculpture exhibition will continue until August 6th. Come see how I bring scrap metal to life.

Talks with Robots: Origins of the Robot Profiles

robot familyWhen I’m out and about meeting with people, a lot of times people will speak about my robots as if they are alive –  “He’s cute”, “What’s her name?”…truth be told, sometimes I think that they’re alive myself! I do see them come together in the disjointed pieces on my bench and find myself telling little anecdotes about them as I’m putting them together. If you’ve seen some of my pieces recently, you know I have been starting to put together biographies for all of my Shopbots. I see the personalities in each of them.

Sometimes people call me an artist, a creator, a maker, a welder or just an all-out weirdo – truth be told, I think I’m a little of each. The one thing I am in addition to all those things is a storyteller and I can even enable you to be a storyteller too. Look at my pieces and ask yourself “What did that part used to be?” “Where did this come from”? Sure, you can look at the parts but the real story is in the whole creation. Begin to imagine what the story is behind where each of those pieces came from or now that they are together – what they’re going to be doing in the future?

Over the new few months I’m going to start a series called “Robot Profiles” and tell you the background behind my robots. Hope you’ll enjoy the stories as much as I enjoyed making the Shopbots themselves. Now quick, go, before they hear you!

Join Me at the Vintage Motorcar Festival

klingberg logoHave some fun plans this weekend to celebrate father’s day? What…you don’t? Then aren’t you in luck, I have just the thing. Grab your dad (or mom…or cat…or spouse…whoever) and head on over to the Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival in New Britain this Saturday from 9:30am to 3:00pm.

groundsCome out to admire hundreds of antique and classic cars spanning decades of automotive history, all on a picturesque 40-acre hilltop campus in Connecticut. Wayne Carini of Velocity’s Chasing Classic Cars is the Grand Marshal for the 2016 Vintage Motorcar Festival.

concourso car

Stop by to see me on the Concorso of Supercars which features exotic and one-of-a-kind cars – a perfect fit for my one-of-a-kind ShopBots. I am really honored to be a part of this amazing fundraising event which benefits the Klingberg Family Centers.

All proceeds go to this private, nonprofit multi-service agency who provides help to thousands of persons across Connecticut each year through more than 25 programs and services. They extend hope and healing to children and families whose lives have been affected by abuse, trauma, severe family problems and behavioral health issues.

Hope to see you there!