I’m a junk artist. I take junk and make it “art”. I grew up with parents and an entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins all on both sides of the family) that firmly believed in recycling and reusing! Modern day folks would likely refer to us as hoarders! We saved everything because you never knew when you might need that single extra small screw from the center of the electrical outlet face plate that you paid a whole 88 cents for! The times are too numerous to mention where mom or dad would need something only to have the other one say “hang on a second I think I have something that might work”. Seriously, they were geniuses at this…I mean pure genius in many cases. Driving a car with vise grips as a shift lever comes to mind, hey it worked. So I guess it wasn’t a far “fall from the ole apple tree” for me to love junk. I mean I really, really LOVE junk. If no one wants it, I do! Especially if it is “free.”
Weekend trips to the salvage yard are a part of my “normal” routine! They know me by name there and chuckle as my son comes in with his little blue wagon in tow. A real picker in the making. I am not too proud to pick up something off the side of the road or knock on a door to ask to purchase a piece of junk from someones yard. I HAVE NO PRIDE. Haha Some of my best pieces have been assembled with “free” junk picked from the side of the road.
The thrill of grabbing something from the side of the road never gets old. I jump out, grab it and immediately start thinking of what I could use it for. Thus far the universe has never failed to provide me with a perfect project for the pieces of junk I have saved. As a DNA analyst for many years I feel I am giving a new genetic code to some of these pieces. Flipping their initial function on it’s head and providing them new life and a second chance for someone to love and cherish them as art. The word art is found in HEART and without it we just have an H and an E and there isn’t much we can built with that. Each piece I make no matter how simple or small…I can say I make it with my whole heart.
There are pieces I have sold where I have cried as the person paid for it. Cried because they appreciated something I made so much that they were willing to pay the “I don’t want to sell it” price. Cried because a part of me was leaving. Cried because I, as the artist, knew “that one” was special. That one had true life and someone was going to love it like a true masterpiece. Find the pure joy in saving old junk…when you save that first piece you’ll be hooked! You can thank me later!