Hacker Creations visits Earthworm Recyclers

by Melissa Glick

Hacker Creations.com

As an artist who makes sculpture, jewelry and home decor from old computer parts, seeing the big white trucks around town that say Earthworm Recycling on the side — I’ve been curious to learn more about them for a while.


When I show my work, people often ask me:  “Where do you get your materials?”, “Do you want mine?” My work addresses environmental issues and I play a role in educating the public about recycling e-waste. Meeting with Earthwork has helped me to be able to share the most accurate information.  It appears that many people have no idea what to do with their old technology and end up amassing a collection in the basement. Which is great for me, because he components in older computers are bigger and better to work with. Besides advancements in making things smaller, n new technology every effort is made to save money by using cheaper materials and designing parts can’t be removed, or reused.

Georgiana Woods and Devin McGuire of Earthworm, were happy to meet with me at their office located in a big brick warehouse which I have driven by a million times having no idea what was inside. The public can drop off their e-waste at their warehouse at 35 Medford Street, Somerville, just around the corner from the Union Sq Target, for a fee of $5 a box

What does Earthworm do

Earthworm is a non profit that has a long history and has played a role in making recycling an accepted practice. Since 1970 they have been educating, advising and advocating to save natural resources while operating a self sufficient enterprise. In 1990, Earthworm introduced its “Close the Loop” program selling recycled paper. You can read a thorough description of their services and how everything is processed on their website.


Currently, Earthwork picks up recycling from  over 700 clients located within the Route 128 (Metro Boston) area who pay for their services.  It is then brought to the privately operated sorting and bailing  facility in Charlestown. The Charlestown facility handles about 800 tons of recyclables per day.

Earthworm started picking up Electronic Waste (e-waste) from their business clients in 2000. Earthworm is an advocate for the wise use of natural resources and values re-use. Their goal is to reuse working technology by getting it to people who need it. Towards this aim they partner with the non-profit, Tecschange  located in East Boston, who ships them internationally to places such as El Salvador. Tecschange maintains a list of other organizations looking for old but working computers on their website.

The rest of the e-waste Earthworm collects is sent to Good Point Recycling in Middlebury, VT. an electronics recycling company, consulting office, and a respected expert in “Fair Trade Recycling” run by former Earthworm associate, Robin Ingenthron. He writes a very informative blog – considered to be one of the best in the field.



Up in VT the electronics get disassembled and sorted by material: steel, plastic, aluminum, circuit boards. There is a market for these materials. People buy the metal and plastic. Some circuit boards are reused to repair other equipment.

There is a false impression that America dumps e-waste in 3rd world counties, when in fact, Africans buy shipping containers full of our old technology. They use it. They fix it. They take it apart and sell the parts as raw materials.

Worried about how e-waste is hurting the environment?

As Georgiana said, “Once you’ve bought your new computer, the damage is already done. Mining for the precious metals used in your new computer is the worse offender.  Mining is terrible for the environment, working conditions are inhumane and they use child labor. If we were able to reuse all the precious metals in the computers that are thrown away, there would be no need to mine for more. In the future mines will be the landfills of today.


35 Medford Street
Somerville, MA 02143
617-628-1844 p
617-628-2773 f

Fun Facts:

12.6 million tons of solid waste was generated by residential, commercial and construction/demolition sources in 2008. This is enough to fill Fenway Park 74 times.44% of this solid waste is currently recycled, recovered or composted. An estimated 60% to 70% of the solid waste stream is potentially recyclable.Paper and paperboard accounts for 32% of the municipal waste stream. (by weight)

Places that Re-Use

  • Extras for Creative Learning
  • TecsChange
  • BostonRestore
  • GreenGoat
  • Boston Building Resources
  • Bikes Not Bombs
  • Encuentro5
  • Communities Without Borders


Melissa Glick

What an exciting Spring !
I’m just back from a trip to Cuba which was so inspiring, I’ve already made new 2 pieces. Including this one that includes images of the neighborhood covered in mosaic.

I received a grant from the Artisan’s Asylum to start a line of work to market specifically to funky art gallery shops. After Open Studios, I will start learning to use the Shop Bot (CNC Gantry Router) to drill shadow boxes out of a 2 ” solid piece of wood. If you know of any funky art gallery shops, similar to where I current sell work, Blue Cloud and Uni-T please let me know.


First weekend of May you can visit me at The Artisan’s Asylum, 10 Tyler St Somerville. The largest Maker Space on the East coast with 40,000 Square feet of workshops, studios, classrooms and community space. Parking in the lot off Dane St. Learn about all the classes you could take.

Come to Space #10 and see all my new work! You also get to check out all the old technology that has been donated to me and my organizational system that goes up 10 feet, requiring a ladder to reach the top! You can also make a pin or necklace.mwc800px72dpi32

Additionally, there is the SOS First Look show at the Somerville Museum, One Westwood Ro. Every SOS artist has been invited to submit one work. Open April 27-29: Thurs 2-7pm, Fri 2-5 pm, Sat noon-5pm & SOS weekend May 4-7: Thurs 2-7 pm, Fri 2-9 pm, Sat and Sun 11am-6pm.

MAY 6 & 7

Preview Party Invite

The Atrium 100-200 Technology Square on Main Street at the railroad tracks, in Kendall Square. Refreshments will be served.

The Second weekend of May is Cambridge Open Studios where I will be displaying my work along with 9 other artists: Jose Estrela, Shin MaengMelissa Glick  Seeds of JoieDeborah Peeples,  Carlos Arzaga,  Alice Kovler, Rebecca Scott, Rhia Swyers & Julia Blake.

Check out this awesome bike tour map! Our Open Studios Launch Party and Artist Showcase will be Thursday, May 11th from 6-8pm at The Cambridge Art Association  25 Lowell Street, Cambridge. Open to the public.


Lots of people have expressed interest in taking my fun workshops…..but I haven’t managed to get them all in the same room! If you would like to join and give it a try, please email me:  and let me know what days/times work best for you and we will make it happen!



Where to begin? I haven’t traveled in a while so please excuse my excessive gushing about how good it is for the mind & soul! I came home inspired, motivated to make art. I loved it and here are some of the things I learned:

1. Cuba is a beautiful country with decaying Colonial Spanish architecture, undeveloped rural land, blue ocean, sunny skies and beautiful, creative people.

2. People to people which is one of the required travel visas, is something I excel at, I was told. I would talk to anyone. I started many of my interactions with Cuban people by saying, “Trump es diabalo.” To which they would smile and we would both shake our heads in agreement.  Then I would say, “I hope it doesn’t change here.” Many said,  “We don’t want it to change.” Others said, “It will take a long time to change.” (Just today someone told me about what it was like there 15 years ago. A lot has changed!)

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Sylvia and Jorge huddle over ice cream discussing our next move in Cienfuegos

3. The group I went with was lead by Syliva of Colibri Travel out of Cambridge MA. She is an awesome person & tour guide. Our Cuban guide, Jorge was also awesome and very guapo.




Everyone make a funny face now!





It was really nice to be in a small group of eight. We began to act like a family, with Tlak and Iruna as Mom & Dad, I was always running to catch up with the group. There were the girls, Diana, Joan and Cindy; and Linda & Dick, who I coincidentally know from Cambridge.




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Sorry we couldn’t bring the puppy home.


For my travel partner, I had the honor of being accompanied by one of my oldest and best friends, Karen R.  Even though Karen and I first became friends on a 10 day bike trip when we were 13. It took some getting used to the close quarters.  I haven’t shared a room with anyone (of my own gender)… since my sister moved out to college in 1974! Thanks for coming KR.




In the 3 days we spent in Havana, we visited National Museo of Fine Art & Revolution Museums, “Squares” of Old Havana (De Armas, de la Cathedral, de San Francisco, Vieja). I attended a Flamenco performance at the beautifully restored Teatro de la Habana. We walked to Hotel National along the Malecón the 5 mile long seawall which stretches from Old Havana to the Vedado neighborhood where we stayed at the awesome Vintage Casa.

We then drove east to the rural area where we visited a Tobacco Farm, we ate the most amazing vegetarian lunch in history at a “finca” farm. Not only did we count 45 different vegetables but the view was breath taking. Coconut drink with herbs, magical! The largest flan ever! Literally 12″ in diameter!


A night in Vinales at a Casa where we ate breakfast on the roof terrace.


Diana, Jean on roof of Casa in Vinales



A night at the amazing Moka hotel at Las Terrazas, eco community, artists, swimming, trees growing thru the hotel!


Artists and Farmers, Las Terrazas



Its hard not to take a good photo in Cuba. Note to self: don’t delete folders trying to make more room – due to lack of internet, they haven’t been backed up. Thankfully, my travel mates shared their best photos which I were way better than ones I lost.


We then headed west, our tour bus sharing the highway with horse and buggies. After visiting Che’s memorial in the heat, we headed to Unesco-protected town of Trinidad. Our final day was spent in Cienfuegos.

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Stone streets of Trinidad



Post  Script: I’ve been back in Trumpland for two weeks – what a contrast. And to dampen my mood even more, I just watched the documentary, “Cuba Fatherland or Death: Unvarnished look at contemporary Cuba through the eyes of its people” by Patria O. Muerte, which shows Cuba very differently from the one I saw as a tourist. Especially shocking  were images of people being taken away by police, as Obama disembarks from his plane. In the film, Fidel triumphantly announces “Cuba is not under anyone else’s sovereignty!” This was a great accomplishment but what followed did not provide the strong foundation, spirituality or shared values needed to succeed.Cuba is now faced with the challenge of building a society & economy to support their people. In that sense it is time for big change.

Beautiful Decay


On a positive note, Cuban artist, Tania Bruguera has started the  INSTITUTO DE ARTIVISMO HANNAH ARENDT . Perhaps the arts will help Cubans have a say in what’s to come. “Here Cubanos de a pie (everyday Cubans) will use Art-activism to wish, think and do, in order to build a real democracy in Cuba.”

The Author

I finally discovered Charles Sheeler


So many hours I spent in the library at SUNY Purchase when I wrote art history papers. Getting swept up in my imagination trying to understand what artists works were saying. Somehow I missed Charles Sheeler. Sheeler was a painter and photographer in New York at the beginning of the 20th century. He was a colleague of Alfred Stieglitz. (Stieglitz the most famous of the Photography is Art  “movement” and married to Georgia O’Keefe.)

Maybe I am just now ready to see what is important about Sheeler’s work and how it relates to mine. The manner in which he  saw geometry in the world and captured it with his camera, reminds me to slow down and focus on what attracts me to particular pieces of cruft. The ones that make me stop and say,  “Wow, that is beautiful.” Often it is the contours of a shape, the folds in metal or the way light reflects.  That is why I try to take pictures of my best finds each day.

Orange and gray plastic with cut outs.
Thin copper with cut outs

“A picture could be assembled arbitrarily with concern for design and the result could be outside time, place or momentary considerations…. ” Sheeler’s words and those written about his work, it help me to explain the universal qualities of my work to others.

charles20sheeler2c20ore20into20iron2c201953.jpgIn Charles Sheeler The Photographs, published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 1987-88, Ted Stebbins and Norman Keyes Jr. write:

Intentional reverse of perspective, using powerful diagonals that extend across the surface to present a deep spatial recession. …enabling him to fill the space with flat masses of shadow contrast with textured sunlit on ones, repeated rows of windows and the subtle textures of shingles create complex patterns against smooth passages. the smoke offers visual relief, creating amorphous white shapes against slate-like masses of black.

This is the way I want my work to be seen! I am inspired to try a “color study” and be more conscience of “verticals” and to find my own vocabulary.

Charles Sheeler had friends he created art with. He made friends with people who would give hims shows. He worked for people who collected art. His connections brought his work to the world. He also wrote about photography which was a new art form at the time. When he described an image as being “rhythmic and emotional forms like a painting”, Stiegliz severed their friendship.

Sometimes I wonder if there is an audience for my work. It’s hard to promote and sell my work on the internet and at craft shows. Being an artist entrepreneur is not what I had in mind. The only thing that has really changed in 100 years is that there is exponentially more competition.

Visit my etsy shop HACKER CREATIONS, leave comments below or email me.

Further Reading:
Georgia OKeefe

Hacker Creations Fall & Holiday Season 2016

News about Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick

Cambridge Art Sharecctvcropped

It has been an honor and challenge to be chosen to participate in The Cambridge Arts Council’s Art Share program. Like a “farm share” you can jump start your art collection with 9 different works of art by local Cambridge artists. You are invited to see a sample of each artist’s work on the website. Order your SHARE today! They make wonderful holiday gifts!

Life After Art Share:  Here are some of my upcoming Fall and Holiday events. I love this time of year when I get to share my work see all kinds of interesting reactions. After 5 years my dream of running an art business is alive, evolving & going strong. Thank you for helping to get the word out about Hacker Creations that make great gifts for friends in the tech industry or not. My bold abstract work makes for unique home decor and will always be a conversation starter.

 tbtableSun: Nov 20

Trash Bash 4th Annual Recycled Art Show
Noon -6 PM
Aeronaut Brewery
14 Tyler Street, Somerville
Join us as we dance, drink, and celebrate sustainability in Somerville. This year’s show will support Somerville Local First. All profit will go to support their amazing work in our community!

Nov 20 – Dec 17logo

Union SquarePop-up mall Somerville
337 Somerville Ave Somerville

Open daily from:Mon – Thurs:  noon – 6:30pm
Fri: noon – 8:00pm
Sat & Sun:10:00am -8:00pm
closed 11/24
I will be covering Tuesday, Nov 22nd 12 – 3 pm and Thurs. Dec 8th 12 – 3:30 PM
SLAM is the newest Holiday Arts Pop Up in the heart of Union Sq (next to PA’s). Check out  a maze of shops by over 20 different artists. 10 Artisan’s Asylum Inmates are in room 18 & 19… all the way in the back. Dont stop till you reach us!

Sat: Nov 26

Somerville High School  Craft Show

9 AM to 3 PM
Somerville High School Atrium
81 Highland Ave, Somerville

A local favorite with over 100 vendors!! Enjoy a fun filled day with lots of raffles, door prizes and refreshments.

Thurs, Fri: Dec 1st & 2nd

MIT Winter Craft Fair*
Massachusetts Institute of Technologymit_craft_fair_logo-small_-svg_
Whitaker Atrium, E25, 45 Carleton Street,
& Stata Center Bldg 32 32 Vassar St
Cambridge, MA 02142
9 am – 5  pm

Taking Hacker Creations to NERD central. Lets see if they can identify the parts!

Sat: Dec 3jpcraftgraphic


JP Craft Fair
11 AM – 5 PM
First Church Jamaica Plain

6 Elliot Street

Held in a beautiful historic church, this show is packed with creative & unique vendors, refreshments. Check out the Boston Art Makers on the stage!

Fri: Dec 9glick_melissa1

Argenziano School Craft Fair

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
290 Washington Street, Somerville
The third annual PTA craft fair featuring jewelry, scarves, hats, greeting cards, homemade bread, and more! Admission is free.

Sat: Dec 10 earringmonitor

Artisan’s Asylum Winter Open House
11 AM – 6 PM
10 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA
Come see where the magic happens! Always new and fun things to be seen at the Asylum. Dedicated to  teaching, learning and practice of fabrication.

 Sun: Dec 11


11 am to 5 pm
Seven Hills Foundation, 81 Hope Ave, Worcester

Worcester Roller Derby’s alternative holiday craft fair!
Admission is free! Tons of local artists and crafters! Jewelry, Fine Art & Photography, Vintage goods, Home Décor, Handbags, Bath & Body, and MORE!

Sat & Sun Dec 17 & 18unionholidaywindow

Union Square Pop Up
Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM & Sun: 10 AM – 5 PM
Warehouse XI, 11 Sanborn Court, Somerville  behind The Independent Restaurant.
An annual show that is a gathering of the craft community of Somerville!

Jan 13-16


Noon- 6 PM
Westin Waterfront Hotel
425 Summer St, Boston
As part of New England’s largest most diverse Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention
I will be displaying and selling work in the Art Show! Register Here!
My etsy store is always open and being updated:
Hacker Creations can be found at these find establishments:
 Blue Cloud, Ball Sq Somerville
 Uni-T, the lovely shop at the Natick Mall.
Custom pieces are always welcome. So if you have an near and dear piece of technology that is ready for the junk heap, don’t toss it, transform it into something you can hang on your wall or display on your self… and remember all you’ve been through together. Contact me and will can discuss it. glick.melissa@gmail.com or come visit me at the Artisan’s Asylum, 10 Tyler St. Union Sq, Somerville, MA USA.
Visit my website www.melissasglick.com to see more of my work.

Thanks for your interest and support.

Hacker Creations goes to Temple Con

Steampunkstuff copyImpressions of a First Time Vendor

The first con I vend at has a Post-Apocalyptic theme. The 10th annual, Temple Con was 4 days of costumes, games, role play, contests, workshops, readings and vendors at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick RI, Aug 25-28, 2016.

For some time, I have had an affinity for clock parts, Victorian era costume & fictitious mechanical contraptions with magic powers – the aesthetic of Steampunk. A time when men wore top hats & vests and ladies wore corsets and bustles (with hidden mechanical accouterments – of course.)

I thought these Con-folk would be a good audience for my Hacker Creations, 3D collage/assemblage made from disassembled technology, combined with bright colors and bold composition. I also brought a collection of specifically Steampunk items made just for the event.

A parade of people in incredible costumes past my booth in the big white “wedding tent” set up behind the…

View original post 562 more words

Variations on a Theme: Cambridge Community Supported Art Share

Pop Up at 2016 River Festival

When I first learned about the Community Supported Art Share, I thought, there was no way I could make 50 pieces by a deadline.  But once I realized I had no other plans, I took on the challenge and I am so happy I did. Since agreeing I have met some wonderful new colleagues, participated in the Cambridge River Festival, attended a photography workshop, a swanky cocktail party in Kendall Sq and have started getting my Instagram pictures liked by members of the Cambridge Arts Council.

I call my work Hacker Creations, because a hacker is someone who takes things a part and puts them back together in new and interesting ways.  I combine 2D color and pattern with 3D computer parts in compositions that are lively, decorative and fun. My work contains a child-like sensibility of experimentation and “seeing beauty in unusual places” and has been described as being “structural poetry”.

Victorian Girls, 2014

Whether it is copper that conducts electricity or glass that insulates the design and material of all technological components is determined in order to do a job. My creative impulse is stimulated by the multitude of variations. Intuitively, I want to arrange them into eye catching ways- employing positive and negative space, mirroring, repetition, scale and pattern.  I create interaction using contrast- black against white, round against square, small pattern against… whatever seems to make it pop!

My creative process is one of experimentation and discovery! We all know the role serendipity plays in discovery!  I have experimented with size in pieces measuring 5 ft x 4 ft made from multiple sheets of wood hung together. I have powered moving gears and fans using batteries and inserted working clocks early on – as in my Victorian Girls. I produce unusual earrings and necklaces and a line of “Steampunk” inspired work including broaches that adorn bowler hats.

The Inspiration

The piece that inspired my Art Share series came about organically and turned out to be perfect for this project because it provided a framework of limited elements that could be fulfilled in unlimited ways. Composed within a black & gold, 5″x 7″ thrift store frame, it has a pallet of black, white, silver & gold and contains a clock face.

I once read some where, you have to go to the studio every day, not because you will be inspired every day, but you have to be in the right place, when it reveals itself. So I began to assemble the parts I needed. I became focused on collecting small picture frames at the thrift store I routinely visited. I made a special trip to an antique store in Waltham, MA to see their inventory of old watches. I purchased supplies off ebay for the first time (porcelain faces with Roman numerals), and explored the Jewelry Building on Washington Street.

The system

I began taking the necessary steps of painting frames, cutting wood, adhering backgrounds. Being organized and having all the parts is all well and good, but that is not how art is made. I know that when my hands working, that part of my brain, that always distracts me with ideas… starts begging for attention. When I’m cleaning up the studio and sorting thru parts, it says “that one, that’s the piece you need” or “that one reminds me of the swirly pattern.”

So yes, the Community Art Share program has given me a wonderful, challenging learning opportunity which has made me realize and try many new things from organization and systems to making pieces marketable.  – Perhaps inserting my nontraditional technique into a conventional frame, as well as the diminutive size will be something people would like to buy? – It has certainly shown me how to mass produce a product which I plan to offer the shops that carry my work. I have 105 more days to complete this project and I am sure to make many more new discoveries. Since I have no idea what will transpire. I can only plan, prepare and keep at it.

Make it Pop!



Art in the Orchard

By Melissa Glick of Hacker Creations


Big Red Frame 

Green grass, apple trees, wispy clouds in a beautiful blue sky are framed by Big Red Frame, one of the many large sculptures you will see following the paths at the Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton MA.  It was a perfect day to be walking around the working orchard where they grow many different types of apples as well as pears, berries and pumpkins.

Along the half-mile long, self-guided trail we saw sculpture made of all sorts of materials. Including a big ceramic pig, sleeping figures made of mounds sprouting grass, glass bottles suspended from a tree branch and a merry-go-round made from bikes.

Multidimensional Intergalactic Friends by Piper Glass and Steel

At the end we were asked to vote for our favorite piece.  We split our votes between the rusted metal and rough squares of colored glass. (I wish I had the opportunity to see it at night, illuminated by solar powdered lights) and the majestic prancing horse made entirely from branches and sticks.

Feed Me Apples by Lindsey Molyneux

Another of my favorites appeared to be a mirror covered shed set between the trees. When you go inside and close the door it is pitch dark. Once you see light streaming in through a small hole you realize you are INSIDE a pin hole camera. The light casts a upside down image on a white surface hanging from the ceiling.  You can make out the horizon, trees and sky.

Yours Truly

The sculpture walk got its start in 2011 when Jean-Pierre Pasche, an Easthampton gallery owner, joined forces with orchard owners Alane Hartley and Russell Braen. This is the third time the orchard owners have hosted this biennial event.  As indicated in the signage, it is funded by the Mass Cultural Council. It really is a good use of public funding and does an exemplary job highlighting the large artist population in and around the Easthampton area! This is how they roll in the Happy Valley!

You can learn more about it and get directions here or take a Photo Tour