All the news from Hackertown

Inspired by the variety of shapes, colors & materials found in outdated technology, Melissa Glick combines e-waste with imagery to make one of a kind home decor, jewelry & accessories called Hacker Creations. Working out of the Artisan’s Asylum since 2013.

www.hackercreations      www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

SAVE THE DATE: Artisans Asylum Winter Market & Open House Sat & Sun Dec. 8 & 9 – 11 am – 5 pm. Tours, demos, hands on activities and Battle Bots on Saturday!

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SomerStreets Oct. 17 Somerville, MA

Its not even Halloween yet and I have already carved a 100 lb pumpkin. Mine is the farthest on the left. First time partaking in this Artisan’s Asylum tradition. Those gourds are really thick but I think I’d take a different tact next time and leave more of the skin and draw detail into the surface. Like this awesome one from years past……

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I love this Pumpkin! Who did this one?

In the Studio

I’ve started working larger! Since I’ve been getting inquiries for Office Decor from Tech Companies and now The Cambridge Arts Council is looking for large work to hang in WeWork co-working space. CAC exhibits art in many of the buildings in Kendal Square, Cambridge, as part of their Creative  Marketplace program. Perfect timing since I have finished the first in a series of three tall ones. Agam Totem is 5′ x 1′ made on wood with a white painted frame.

Agam Totem
Agam Totem

Blue Construction is 2′ x 2′ and is my first experiment building on a new material. Pink insulation board is extruded Polystyrene and is much lighter than wood. I am discovering a whole new way to attach the parts because the material has very different qualities.

Both are part of a series done over the bright colors of Yacov Agam. Agam is a kinetic artist who is 100 years old and living in Israel. This is the link to his incredible Museum which I would love to visit. I use a portion of the original work, often altering the color and multiply it in Photoshop. I use color photocopies and Mod Podge to “decoupage” a surface for the construction to be built over.

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Blue Construction

I have long intended to make work echoing Russian Constructivism. This early abstract movement plays with abstract shapes in compelling compositions. Some notable artists of this era include: Kazimir Malevich,, El Lissitzky & Alexander Rodchenko. Check them out!

I hope you will visit my website to see the latest additions to my Feminism and Technology (formally known as Victorian Ladies) series. The current stable includes: Ada Lovelace, Mermaid, Alice Contemplates the Galaxy, German Engineering and VL, Victorian on Wallpaper. See All my new work at the Winter Market & Open House Dec. 8 &  9.

Holiday Events

Boston Hassle Halloween Market, Cambridge Community Center – Sunday October 28th, from 12pm-6pm – 5 Callender Street, Cambridge.

Google Cambridge Office Holiday Market – Friday December 7, 2018 from 3-5pm

Artisan’s Asylum Winter Market & Open House & Battle Bots – Sat & Sun. Dec 8 & 9 -11 am – 5 pm, 10 Tyler St, Somerville.

MassArt Made Holiday Sale* will be December 2-8, 2018 – 10:00am to 7:00pm in the Lobby of the Tower Building at MassArt,  621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA.

Institute of Affordable Art*, Dorchester Art Project 1486 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester MA.

I am happy to announce that we have a new member to our family her name is Dee Dee #1806221344. Thank you Skunadelia DeeDee copy

*inclusion to be confirmed.

 

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Somerville Open Studios 2018

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.

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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.

www.hackercreations.com

www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

Getting Work Out There

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!monstermike

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.

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Tango in Mustard, 2015

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.

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Mario of CLM Mechanics 366 Webster St Cambridge, MA 

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.

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Working in my studio
Photo by: Anna Muench

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

www.hackercreations.com   

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Melissa Glick  • Hacker Creations    •  glick.melissa@gmail.com  •   Working from The Artisan’s Asylum, Somerville, MA since 2013.

Where do you get your parts?

Melissa Glick, Hacker Creations

This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows.  Here are some of the more interesting origins.

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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.

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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.

 

Melissa Glick has been an inmate at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA since 2012. She grew up in a home where recycling and saving cool looking things was the norm. She studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and got a masters in art education at Mass College of Art.

 

 

 

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.