Updated Bio and Dali’s Table

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Dali’s Table, 2017 Patterns upon patterns over the distorted red pattern from Dali’s 1956 painting Living Still Life (French: Nature Morte Vivante) Dali painted this piece during a period that he called “Nuclear Mysticism.”[1] Nuclear Mysticism is composed of different theories that try to show the relationships between quantum physics and the conscious mind. The different theories are composed of elements that range from “Catalan philosophers” to “classicismpop art, and nuclear physics.”[2] The painting, done in 1956, currently resides at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I find beauty in unexpected places.  As a “hacker” I take things apart and re-purpose them in cool new ways. I transform “e-waste”- discarded electronics and outdated computer components into dynamic compositions that combine 2D color and pattern with 3D abstract forms. My work touches upon issues ofintimacy, excess, ecology and raising awareness. My work has been described as being ”structural poetry.”

 

Growing up, my Dad worked at Raytheon (1960-90) and brought home outdated equipment that was being thrown out. I never opened a computer until I joined The Artisan’s Asylum, maker space in Somerville MA in 2012.  Since that time I have learned a great deal about the abundance of outdated technology and the toll it is taking on the world because manufacturers do not take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their products.

There’s an element of chance in my work since my materials are given to me and because each series of computer I open is different. It’s like a treasure hunt.  I know immediately if a piece is visually interesting or not (unless I’m in an indecisive mood). The visual excitement when a particular shape just POPS when in relation to a particular color or pattern is thrilling.

I weave in my background and love of Modernism by appropriating imagery from the past. Originally I built upon a surface made from old letters, post cards and other personal items that romantic people accumulate. Currently I incorporate digital imagery (mine, Modern Art, random print) which I alter with Photoshop.  The compositions place shapes of disassembled technology in relationship with abstract imagery with contrast, balance and repetition and suggest a connection or equivalence.

I grew up going to DeCordova summer camp where my creativity was always encouraged. At the age of ten I saw the Acropolis in Athens and knew I would be studying Art History when I went to college. Between visiting galleries and museums in NYC while at SUNY Purchase and a year in Paris, I developed my aesthetic sense and became focused on contemporary art.  After 5 years of doing administrative work at the ICA, I enrolled at Mass College of Art and earned a Masters in Art Education. I have run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts. Once I got out of the office and starting making art, I taught at Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts. I offer workshops to people of all ages at the Artisan’s Asylum and at various community events.

www.hackercreations.com

www.artisansasylum.com

www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

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Variations on a Theme: Cambridge Community Supported Art Share

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Make it Pop!

 

 

Open Call: HackCycle Deadline for Submissions: May 25th

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The Nave Gallery (Somerville, MA) invites artists to participate in the curated exhibition, HackCycle.

HackCycle celebrates recycled art of the 21st century. We invite submissions from  artists, nerds, makers, burners and others who employ experimentation and serendipity using today’s technological debris and/or innovative techniques as part of their creative process.

The exhibition examines the transformation of bits, bytes, cruft, e-waste, circuits, doodads, odds & ends and more into objects of art. Work may (but is not limited to) demonstrate the use of 3D printing, laser cutters and/or CNC bots in combination with found art, assemblage and/or appropriation.

Entries sought may (but are not limited to) include unique and reimagined re-uses of the following elements:

 – robotics
– electronics
– sci fi
– cosplay
– anime, action figure toys & fun childhood memories

GUIDELINES:
– $15 entry fee payable through PayPal

– A maximum of five pieces may be entered for consideration

– Submissions will be accepted through September 8, 2015

– The Nave Gallery will retain a 30% commission for work sold

– Artist is responsible for cost of shipping work to and from the gallery

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK:
-Send up to five artwork submissions as .jpg files to info@navegallery.org.

-Each .jpg should be 1200 pixels in the long dimension and named as “NAME_#.jpg” where # is the submission number and NAME is your last name

-Include an image list with your jpeg submission email, indicating submission number, title, size, process and year, as well as a brief artist bio and statement

-There is a $15 submission fee, payable through Paypal. Paypal is available here. Please include “HackCycle” in the note field

– Please indicate where you learned of the call

Accepted pieces should be delivered to the Nave Gallery located in Teele Square (155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville, MA) ready to install.

CALENDAR:
Deadline for entries: May 25, 2015
Notification: May 30, 2015
Artwork drop-off: June 7, 2015
Exhibition dates: June 11 – July 11, 2015
Opening reception:  June 11, 2015; 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Melissa Glick is a Boston-based artist and teacher who finds beauty in unexpected places. She creates dynamic compositions with abstract elements and bold colors by combining disassembled computer parts with appropriated imagery and personal relics. In addition to her work being fun and eye catching it address the environmental impact of our technological lifestyle and our emotional attachments to the “things” that represent and validate who we are. Melissa works out of the Artisan’s Asylum and is a proponent of the Maker Movement and the democratization of production. She has a Masters in Art Education from Mass College of Art and a BA from SUNY Purchase and has run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts, Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts and at various community events.  View her work at www.melissasglick.com

Arduino Connects Art and Robotics

When I volunteered at Arduino Day on Sat. March 28th, it was snowing so hard, the Charles River was barely visible from the top floor of the MIT Media Lab. But what an interesting place to learn more about the “Lego” of electronics. Make Magazine posted a  slide show of photos I took that day.

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Arduino is designed by an international group who’s mission is to give everyone the tools needed to invent stuff, because you never know where the next life changing idea will come from.

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An Arduino controlled vehicle can follow the path of a black line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first heard about Arduino from the collaborator on my piece The River of Connectivity which has 12 re-purposed computer fans across a 6 ft. long assemblage. Tyler built and programed an Arduino that turned the fans turned on then off in succession from left to the right. The fans, that look best when slowing down and starting up, recalled flowing water.

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Tyler Hutchison is the mastermind behind this controller – 2 wires go to each fan, powered by a DC plug.

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The River of Connectivity now hangs at the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, Milford Ma. Thanks to The Art Connection, an organization that facilitates the collecting of art by community groups.

 

 

What is it? Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects.  Therefore it is becoming popular with new media artists who create experiential environments and work with light and sound.

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How Does it Work? As with all electronics, components are connected to a board. The Arduino board comes with some components already attached so you can just plug into your computer and use a free software to program, tell it what to do. There are many companies doing this.

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Here I am using a toy that teaches the concept of programming. By putting different colored parts into the holes in my “control panel” I make the little box with the smile more in different directions.

The program spells out what steps to take in computer language. Using If statements allows the instructions to change based on options. Various roles of components include:

  • Sensors, that react to light, sound, touch, speed, temperature, moisture;
  • Switches, that turn things on and off and adjust speed;
  • Clocks and counters, used to schedule frequency etc.

How does it relate to art?  Some of my favorite artists made kinetic sculpture. Calder and Rikey made large metal shapes that moved, be they powered by the wind or human interaction. I once witnessed a couple of percussionists make wonderful rhythms on a large free-standing Calder swung around at The Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, 1981. (This was it’s intended purpose.)

Alexander Calder, Red Mobile, 1956, Painted sheet metal and metal rods, a signature work – Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

 Closer to Home:  Some of my friends at the Artisan’s Asylum are experimenting with Arduino. Sage Kochavi’s piece Furry All, consists of  two feet high letters, covered in soft fun fur. She programed the Arduino sensor to trigger LEDs embedded in the fur. As your hand nears, the lights glow brighter and when you stroke the fur, the letter begins to purr via the embedded motors which are triggered by the interaction.

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That’s me at the bottom right, kneeling to take the picture.

Another Asylum member Mark Brownawell, has set up a little monitor connected to a temperature sensor. As people come near, red blocks of color increase and blue decrease. Temperatures in between are represented in yellow and green.

The best example of technologically assisted art I’ve heard about was Rain Room at the MOMA.

It is inevitable that the current technology would be integrated into the art of the period. Products like Arduino make it possible for artists to push boundaries and use it in ways corporations and scientists would never would. How can you imagine using Arduino in a creative project?

Where Can I learn more?

You can take a class  Introduction to Arduino

Arduino website:  http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage

Store: http://store-usa.arduino.cc/

You can see a lot of interesting projects on

Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/howto/arduino/

https://data.sparkfun.com/   There are other companies doing this sort of thing.

https://processing.org/ — another artist friendly programming language.

Resources:

http://www.makershed.com/?utm_source=makezine.com&utm_medium=ads&utm_term=Shop+Now&utm_campaign=makershed+banner

http://playground.arduino.cc/Projects/ArduinoUsers

Kaleidoscope: http://arduino-cool.blogspot.com/2014/06/kaleidoscope-with-arduino-and-rgb-led.html

Xmas Decorations: http://luckyresistor.me/xmas-decoration/

The Art Connection: http://www.theartconnection.org/

Boston Handmade New Member Transforms Debris into Detris

atmitflea500BH: Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).

MG: Hi, I’m Melissa Glick, I live in Central Sq Cambridge with my ltbf Sean and work out of the Artisan’s Asylum (huge maker space) in Union Sq Somerville. I have been involved with the Nave and Nave Annex, www.navegallery.org two all volunteer run galleries in Somerville for over 10 years.

BH: What is your background? (family background, education, former/current day jobs)

I am a youngest child. Grew up in Lexington and studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and at The American College & Parsons in Paris. I have a masters in Art Education from Mass College of Art. I didn’t have the temperament to be a school teacher so instead I managed educational programs at cultural institutions including: Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Arts in Progress, The Boston Public Schools, Mass Alliance for Arts Education, Boston Ballet, ICA and The Museum of Fine Arts. My grandfather went to Cooper Union and my sister inherited the sewing talent and makes costumes.

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BH: How long have you been doing your artwork/craft?

I’ve been doing Hacker Junk Creation for almost 3 years. Previously I did photography. I learned to work in the dark room in high school. I was an early adopter of the digital medium and spent many hours experimenting with Photoshop. I may not know how a computer does it’s magic, but I sure know how to take them apart!

BH: Describe your work.

I transform old computer parts and recycled paper into assemblages, mosaics, tiles and clocks. I play with pattern, perspective and illusion by combining a plethora of 3D abstract shapes, colors and materials found in e-waste with 2D imagery from my personal collection of cultural relics.

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BH: Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc).

When I took apart my first computer I was amazed to find so many unusual abstract shapes made of many kinds of materials in many beautiful colors. I was immediately reminded of some of my favorite artists, Bauhaus, Louis Nevelson, Mondrain. Along the way I have learned techniques for attaching and manipulating the materials involving lots of tools, woodworking and recently 3D design software and the CNC Router. My work is about visual connections, playing with shapes, patterns and composition.

BH: What are your favorite materials?

What’s not to love about a shiny hard drive platter that makes a beautiful tone when you tap it? Stators look like snowflakes and come in original copper, blue, green and even red. I especially love the tiny little bushings and other connectors with geometric cut outs.

3rdclock500BH: What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

I studied Art History and have amassed a collection of images of art and other graphics that attract my eye. Its an alchemy of bringing together obsolete mechanical parts with the line and color of beautiful images. The first time I saw the plastic sheet under a key board I immediately thought of Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie. By incorporating reproductions of works of art I am giving them new life and reinterpreting them in my unique manner.

BH: How do you promote your work?

Open studios at the Asylum brings over 300 people in. We also host other events where people can see my work displayed by my space. Being involved with the Nave Gallery provides exhibition opportunities and keeps me in touch with the community where I learn about new projects to get involved in. The Somerville Arts Council www.somervilleartscouncil.org supports the artist community by producing many wonderful events and projects to get involved with. I have a website at: Melissasglick.com.

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BH: What’s your most interesting fair/show experience?

The Trash Bash! This was the 2nd year 3 Graces Productions put on the event. Artists who work with recycled materials get to display and the audience votes for their favorite piece in many categories. There are bands and information about recycling. These are my people!

BH: Why should people buy handmade?

Something handmade has a unique quality and is endowed with the spirit of it’s maker. Being creative and making the world around us more beautiful is a very valuable skill.

BH: How long have you been involved with Etsy and what have your experiences been?

I opened my store in 2008 but never really used it until 2012. I have sold 2/3’s of my work to people in San Francisco, which is totally awesome. I have watched some videos about marketing and love the whole international craft marketplace economy phenomenon, but I wouldn’t consider my experience to be a success. My Etsy shop is called Melsplace, come visit!

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BH: Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites

MG:  Websites: http://beautifuldecay.com, www.lostateminor.com, whatshouldireadnext.com, www.thisiscolossal.com, www.sca-roadside.org, www.instructables.com

Movies: Amelie, Roman Holiday, Big Fish, Almost Famous, Train Spotting, Usual Suspects, City of God, Black Swan, Borat, Moonrise Kingdom, School of Rock, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Break Back Mountain, Blood Simple.

Songs: Regina Specktor: Eet, Dylan: Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Bruce Springsteen: Thunder Road, Decemberists: Cinnamon

Books:Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern, Traveling with Pomegranates SM Kidd & AK Taylor, People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks, Song of Chameleons, Truman Capote

BH: Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?

I was an extra in the Martin Scorsese film The Departed. You can see me just over Martin Sheen’s left shoulder as he exits the South Station T station.

Embracing the World of Cruft

I’ve been seeing some nice cruft art lately. I used to get jealous if I thought someone else was “stealing my thunder”*. But I’m coming around to not only accepting – but to being a cheer leader for my fellow creatives, compelled to transform the ceaseless glut of obsolete technology.

For Chanukah, by boy friend gave me this little box which was made by a collaborative in India. I appreciate the smooth straight cuts and the quality of the construction, especially how neatly it is glued.  I could learn some technique from them!

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from Ten Thousand Villages

Saw these elegant clocks while visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston gift shop. A green design is sandwiched between 2 clear plastic discs. I think they are the ones that came when you bought a stack of CDs. They have small components glued on their faces and are supported by thin black metal frames.

MFA clocks

MFA clocks

I saw this piece by Julie R. Amrany of Illinois posted on Facebook page Art Venice Biennale 3. I love how she uses paint, hard drive patters suspended/standing in a box. These works inspire me!

by  Julie R. Amrany of Illinois

Primary View by Julie R. Amrany

Making shadow boxes on the laser cutter has been on my TODO list for a long time! I think the answer is to keep at the “meta” list and trust that as I work the new ideas & things I have admired will organically start to appear in the work!

If you live near by I hope you will come by the Artisan’s Asylum the first weekend of May for SOMERVILLE OPEN STUDIOS and get a look at what I have accomplished.

 *visit my website: melissasglick.com and my etsy shop: MELSPLACE

 

 

 

 

 

Its July Everybody!

stopwatchA lot has been happening! I have been making lots of new work! After a bit of a breather after Open Studios and Craftopia, I am more inspired than ever! I so many hard drives, disc drives and vcrs I have no room left in my 50′ workspace at the Artisan’s Asylum. People are so generous with their donation and time. Thank you to everyone who has helped me to learn Solidworks and cut out my first piece on the CNC router!

 

 

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I am so happy to announce that I was accepted into the Boston Hand Made artist’s group! This collection of 10 artists works together to support and promote their handmade businesses together. Already I have attended a new member cocktail event at Gather by the ICA. Today is a meet up in Melrose and next week will be a workshop in Concord, I am looking forward to working on a potential Holiday Storefront in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. Check out their beautiful website and blog at: http://www.bostonhandmade.org/   Already I have upgraded my website and purchased my own domain name. You can visit my new and improved website at: melissasglick.com

 

Last week I led a lovely workshop by the River at the new mall Assembly Row. Set up on a grassy area with a view of boats Assembrowboyand the busy pedestrian path. There were participants of all ages – from 3 – 73! It was part of the series of free workshops every Sunday from 2 – 3 pm.

 

Tomorrow July 19th is Art Beat, in Davis Square, Somerville, MA from 10 am – 5 pm. There will be music performance, art, food and craft vendors! I will be manning an info booth about the Artisan’s Asylum. We will be located on Statue Park by the animals and other activities. There will be a glass blowing demo from 11 am – 2pm, map drawing and take a part. Come by and say HI!

The Incredible Clock Show

April Hacker Junk Creations News letter           Welcome Spring!!!
Wed April 16, 4:30-6:30pm Recycle Creativity Lab Reception University Place Gallery 124 Mt. Auburn St Cambridge.
Sun. April 27, 10 am – 4 pm CRAFTOPIA a super-duper day of art, craft, food & fun! in Pawtucket, RI. Fri-
Fri-Sun May 2.-4 Somerville Open Studios Visit the Artisan’s Asylum 10 Tyler St.Don’t miss The Artists’ Choice Exhibit at the Somerville Museum.
VISIT:  Etsy Store     Flickr Stream

UPDATE: I have been spending all my time in the studio. Making clocks and chokers for the Nashua Steampunk Festivaland working on my first large scale collaborative piece, The River of Connectivity!

Unfortunatesos copyly the Steampunk Festivalwas cancelled….. so instead, my theme for this year’s Somerville Open Studios will be: Melissa’s Incredible Clock Show. Re: my love for Modern Art, there is a Mondrian clock, Basquiat Clock, Escher Clock and lots of new work. I may also be selling Hacker Junk by the OZ. Mostly plastic gears spray painted silver and copper – for all your Steampunk costume making needs! If not you can get it at MELSPACE.

 RECYCLE CREATIVITY LAB : I spent 3 snowy afternoons with middle school kids at the Gately Afterschool as visiting artist for a Cambridge Creativity Commons  project. Each kid got a (broken) laptop to take apart and transform using collage and assemblage! After showing my Power point presentation about found art and abstract composition, a girl responded by saying, “It’s like how some people don’t think Graffiti its art.” Thank you Paul, Erin and Kyle for this opportunity! With support from the Cambridge Art Association  the results of the program along with my River of Connectivity will be displayed at University Place Gallery 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Harvard Sq. I hope you can drop by the reception Wednesday, April 16, 4:30-6:30 pm.

How Thtylerbox_web copye River of Connectivity came to be: 1) Erin from CAA said University Place Gallery is really large, and wondered if the children’s work would fill it & invited me to include a piece.   2) I had a collection of beautiful parts that were too large for my usual work.   3) I had a source of large plywood from the dis assembly of The Asylum’s Veladrome.   4) I saw Tyler’s awesome phone booth and I invited him to collaborate. Thus my first collaborative, moving, large scale piece was born! Again I hope you will come to see its debut on April 16th. So exciting!! Here is a description  of the work.

Somerville Library Workshop: We made mobiles a February mobkids2editVacation Week workshop that was well attended by regulars and new folks including a group from the Elizabeth Peabody House. The instructions were to balance parts off hangers that were suspended across the room, but some kids liked the challenge of attaching the MOST stuff.

Up Coming: I am looking forward to participating in some Indy Craft Festivals( If you hear of any other please let me know.)  My first will be: CRAFTOPIA  on Sun. April 27th. It is being held at the Hope Artiste Village 1005 Main St, Pawtucket RI. It’s a wonderful day trip!

I will be updating my ETSY store MELSPLACE with all my new work soon!. Take a look and while you are there, please click on the FAV button- so I will come up in the search algorithm.

Workshops for all ages are available at the Artisan’s Asylum  (for over 18) and other locations. Parts and Crafts. Please contact me if you are interested! glick.melissa@gmail.com

Take care and thanks for your support!

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House Maker Faire taking place in 2014

Hey Prez!!!Image

I have been working at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA for almost 2 years. Its an amazing place where I have been able to merge visual art with technology! I make “mosaics” by combining old computer parts with colorful collage made with recycled papers. When I work with children (and adults), I tell them to look at the parts like “tiles” in various colors, materials, shapes and sizes – to use in compositions. I know 101 (not literally) fun projects to make out of recycled computer parts! While we are doing “take apart” and using our imaginations, kids are seeing for the first time, the multitude of parts (screws, heatsink, hard drive, gears, motors, wires, processors, springs, stators, transformers, copper wire, fans….) that fit together like a puzzle to make your computer work!

It is a fun and inspiring activity, that I love to share with others. You can see examples of my and the work from workshops at my website, on my blog and at my etsy store!!!!

The engineers at the asylum usually think my work is weird, but when we have an open house and they see the hoards of kids, they are very impressed! Artists make great teachers…….engineers, not always! Check out my and the work of my students.