Disappointing, I didn’t sell any of my actual art. I sold enough earrings, necklaces to cover the fee, plus some. This is when the negative thoughts start. No one likes my work, it’s no good. I’m wasting my time…… Please feel free to disagree!
There were some enthusiastic viewers and some positive reactions, for example a woman was looking at the series I did for Valentines day made with a red circuit board behind laser cut hearts in wildly colored collaged wood. She said “Oh these are great, I work in Pulmonary Medicine.” “Would look great in your office” said I, to no avail. I offered the small piece for a discount of $20 and she still didn’t take it.
Turns out pulmonary is lungs not hearts (cardiac) … but she brought it up!
Melissa Glick makes 3D collage out of old computer parts. Her studio is at The Artisan’s Asylum, a 40K sq. foot “Maker Space” in Somerville, MA. Her work has been described as being “structural poetry”. Visit her website and Etsy shop to see more of her work.
It’s only October but I am getting into the spirit of giving. I’m giving my work to people who will hang them in public spaces. A while back, I heard about an acquaintance who offered her work for free to anyone who wanted it. The following week, she received good fortune including a commission!
Whenever I walked past Monster Mikes Guitars at 869A Mass Ave. up the street from where I live in Central Sq, Cambridge MA., I noticed an empty space in the window. So I just went in, introduced myself and asked if could put my piece there and he said sure. So if you’re in the area check out Tango in Mustard.I also encourage you to patronize this fine establishment.
This Hacker Creation is a 3D collage of recycled paper, wood, and computer parts – a collection of abstract shapes and patterns unified by the “pea soup” color of the old circuit boards on the top. Press the button and the “muffin fans” spin. The composition combines intricate details from a collection of traditional decorative patterns and an image of dancers painted by John Grillo (from a brochure I picked up at a gallery in Welfleet years ago) with disassembled and surplus parts from old technology. The appropriated image is mounted on a metal hard drive cover and framed by a grid from the plastic flexi-sheet (from under the keyboard keys.) Batteries and wiring are sandwiched between two boards, clipped together with improvised metal parts.
My mechanic is a great guy, I’ve known him for years and consider him a friend. Today I had to get new brakes on my car and when I picked it up, I gave Mario, Metal Weave to hang in his newly refurbished office/waiting room. I think he liked it. The piece has a lot of silver metal, black plastic and features an old vacuum tube and fits in amidst the car parts, tools and lifts. I’m not going to plug Mario’s garage because it is always too crowded and I like to think it’s my little secret. I doubt they have a website.
My goal is to increase my audience by getting my work out into the world. When people stumble upon it, I hope they will have time to take in the variety of shapes and materials. Get a sense of the balance, composition and patterns. Its a non-verbal thing, if it brings you pleasure then, you get it!
I take pictures of everyone who buys one of my pieces. My audience may be limited and perhaps a collection of odd ducks, but when they say, ” I love it”, I know they are telling me the truth. It is such a thrill when people “get it”, confirming that we share a way of seeing beauty in unusual places.
The recycle loop has three steps: 1. I keep materials out out of the waste system. 2. They are transformed, given new life as art. 3. When you hang it on your wall at home/office to enjoy. Be a part of the Recycle loop! Visit my Shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations
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.
This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows. Here are some of the more interesting origins.
I once received a box of working clock inserts in the mail. The return address was from Malden but I did not recognize/remember who it was from. They have roman numerals but take an unusual battery. Thank you to my donor!
My childhood friend was clearing out her house to be sold and bequeathed upon me her family’s first PC. It was an IBM from 1987. I remember watching Karen annihilate aliens on a tiny 5″x7″ monitor.
At a crowded Flea market a gentleman told me he had some printed circuit boards. We met at a cafe and he gave me 2 boxes of green, shiny as new boards of all sizes. These are samples he said. Let me know if you want more.
July 6/17 I saw a black box on the side of the street the other day…. I thought about picking it up but I walked by. Then next day, it was still there, so I took a closer look. It was a 5 disc CD player. So I grabbed it and put it in the back of my car. I opened it up and found a piece resembling a huge black plastic throwing star. I’ve opened one of these before, but it did not have this design. I was most interested in the black plastic pieces, I photographed against a green background.
I started off making Joseph Cornell-like boxes using the things my father had saved in the dungeon of my childhood home. The house I grew up in was being emptied out to be sold. Examples of my oldest work.
Fellow Artisan’s Asylum members offer me their cruft, (left over parts of unfinished projects, surplus materials.) Generally happy to see them being put into some kind of use, even if it isn’t electronic.
Once after doing a workshop at an after school in Southie, I was “paid” with a tower of PC’s they were upgrading from. Stacked, they were as talk as me.
My 100 sq foot studio is packed with components that need to be taken apart. At Open Studios a visitor said, entering my studio “is like entering another world, there is so much going on.”
Sometimes when I am offered parts, I take them, even if they are nothing special because I am grateful they think of me and for their act of generosity. I am also grateful for the time the other members give to me when they answer my questions. Although they often go into more detail that I need.
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.
Additionally, there is the SOS First Look show at theSomerville 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
The Atrium 100-200 Technology Square on Main Street at the railroad tracks, in Kendall Square. Refreshments will be served.
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!
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”.
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 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.
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.
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:
– sci fi
– anime, action figure toys & fun childhood memories
– $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 email@example.com.
-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