I’m often told I think outside the box. No, I took the box, broke it up into little pieces and used it for kindling to fuel and fire the creative juices toward finding new ways to structure, repurpose and upcycle all types of musical instruments and related items into decorative and often functional artworks.
I never met an instrument I didn’t love! Entertaining our ears, minds, hearts and souls, most eventually wear out and are not repairable- or it’s not economically feasible to repair or refurbish, leaving beautiful treasures in search of a new purpose- a new life. From vintage trumpets to worn out saxophones, piccolos to tubas, stringed instruments to the intricate and delicate internal mechanics of an old piano, these parts and items become both the raw materials and the inspiration for my works. Beautiful parts are combined with various repurposed materials as well as vintage sheet music for both two and three dimensional artworks. I read and evaluate each unique musical instrument, including the shape, condition and finish, and let it lead me to its repurpose and new life. Instruments are upcycled and incorporated with refurbished, repurposed and fabricated parts to create new artworks as well as artistic, functional pieces such as lamps, clocks and other home decor items. When re-created, they inspire those that view them, often recalling times when they themselves played or simply enjoyed the playing of these instruments- perhaps even recalling and “hearing” the beautiful music that they once produced. By re-creating and repurposing these instruments they are given a new life and a new appreciation beyond their days- when they no longer produce music.
Another important aspect of my work is the repurposing and recreating of clients’ own instruments. Sometimes they are memories from their own musical history- beginners’ instruments that have been upgraded and are no longer used, or instruments that hadn’t been played for years- even decades. Other times they are instruments that belonged to grandparents, parents, children or other family members that may or may not still be with us. Either way, there is a bond, an emotional attachment with the instrument. I take great care and even greater pride in the conversion and re-creation of these clients’ treasures. By working with them I can design what will ultimately become a family heirloom, or sometimes even a memorial, meaning much more to the clients’ than just the purchase of a beautiful artwork.