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.

 

 

 

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OPEN STUDIO season!

Melissa Glick
CubaDiegohttp://www.Hackercreations.com
glick.melissa@gmail.com

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.

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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.

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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!

LONG LIVE HACK!!! 

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.

Disassembling Computers for Art and Fun

Some folks at the ArcWorks Community Art Center in Peabody, who organized the RePurpose show I participated in, thought taking apart computers would be a good project for some of their clients. Sal and Jim from the Heritage Industries came down to the Asylum for a visit, and after I described the procedure to them in detail, they also agreed and even had some candidates in mind. It turned out the the Art Center is run by Heritage Industries, but their primary objective is providing training and work to developmentally challenged adults.  They actually transport people to businesses who pay them to do appropriate tasks such as stuffing envelopes and doing yard work. When I explained that mine was not a money making enterprise, they thought I would have a good chance of having the project funded if I submitted a proposal. Here is what I wrote:

ImageI am writing to request that ARC to fund an individual to come to the Artisan’s Asylum at 10 Tyler St Somerville, MA to disassemble old computers and other discarded electronics to be used as art materials. This is a fun task that requires focus, curiosity and problem solving.  Specific parts are used for art making by myself and in workshops that I lead for people of all ages. I have hosted, Take Apart sessions which are very popular and enjoyed by young people, experienced engineers and computer scientists alike.  It is very intriguing to discover the wide variety of shapes, colors & materials of the components.

Although there are safety issues in regard to e-waste, this helper, nor any of my students are exposed to any of these dangerous conditions.

I will train and supervise this helper to use a power drill and determine which bit head to use to remove many little screws that hold the equipment together. The first step of the process is to locate screws. Then it is zip, zip, zip and we collect all the little screws that fall out. Next, belts are pulled out of sockets, clips are opened, springs are unattached to remove the heat sink, gears, hard drive, fan etc. etc.  At times wire cutters and chisels are used for leverage to remove the parts. We receive a wide variety of donated equipment, making  each one a unique puzzle to be solved. Doing this we gain an understanding of how things are put together and we also gain an appreciation for the people so far away, working on the assembly line who put them together.

I collect the parts with bold designs and abstract contours to use in mosaics and sculpture. We make necklaces, refrigerator magnets and sculptures. Creative possibilities are limitless when re-purposing these amazing materials that would otherwise be thrown out and destroyed. What I am doing has nothing at all with making profit. It is about making
physical arrangements that explore 2 and 3 dimensional abstract qualities. My work draws attention to the proliferation of obsolete equipment and the need to regulate its disposal.

Children love my workshops, and are amazed when they see what is inside the “box”.  Unwittingly they are also being introduced to the world of electronics and science.

As of this date, I have not received any response….

Notes
1.  Toxic acid baths and open-air burning of mercury used to recover valuable materials,
expose people to high levels of contaminants. When dumped in landfills, electronic equipment
decomposes and toxic chemicals leach into the land be released into the atmosphere. Over
time this causes serious public health and environmental impact.*
2. There are Phillips screw heads as well as hex and torque.
3. Combining unusual shapes and materials of the recycled parts with graphic elements in an
underlying collage creates a conversation between color, shapes and patterns.
4.  The rest is divided between 2 buckets one for metal which is then picked up to be recycled and the other is taken to Best Buy, where they recycle the rest. They have a great video about it.

5. $3.1 billion worth of the United States’ scrap materials was imported by China. 25,000 workers are employed at scrap yards in Delhi, India. 50-80% of waste collected FOR RECYCLING is illegally shipped to the Far East, India, Africa and China.
6. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that ~3/4 of the computers sold in the US end up in landfills, incinerators or exported to developing countries in Africa, India and Asia.*
7. Use computer parts as art materials in this fun multimedia project. In Hacker Junk Mosaics,kids make design choices, experiment with shapes, colors and patterns and explore the interaction of 3D and 2D materials while making an abstract work of art to hang on the wall.

SOS Somerville Open Studios

Although it was a long time in the planning and I pulled my SOS display together at the last minute. Took half a day off from work and totally reorganized my pallets where I store all my raw materials. I cleared out space and set up a little work area where I planned to spend the time productively. There we were at the corner of aisle 1 and 2. Jim Brendt showing his graphic novel… Gretchen’s white wall, looking very Newberry St gallery with her abstract metal sculpture and Seth’s concrete table. The four of us spent the hours representing our very different work to the visitors. Image

Visitors…. Obviously the first thing you think of are those who bought something. I will never forget, and each and everyone of you, mean so much to me. The girl who bought my first magnet, she said she liked the texture! But I didnt get her name. She paid in cash. Next Michael bought the hat. I thought I could get $50 at the Steampunk Festival, but since I decided not to do that event, I offered it to him for $25. It was perfect for him. He’s one of those guys who wears a baseball hat every single day. He said it Imagewas replacing his current hat which

was 5

years old. I hope this one lasts that long!

A couple purchased (the first) framed Animal Park print. They said they would put it in their hall, which needed color. The next print to go was destined for a little girl named Harriet’s room. Her mom took a photo of the 2 of us with the print. A 30 something yr old woman bought the first mosaic of the weekend. She was funny. First she wanted the clock, then it was Orange, but in the end she purchased “Prince” for $50. ImageShe said she liked the angular shape and the colorful, mishmash of pictures and objects.

Finally, one of the biker fleet got a 2 for $80 special deal on a small framed Pig and the Wall paper mosaic! Grand Total: $375!

Now I have the selling bug! I say, buy it, take it away so that I have room to make new work!!! Thank you for supporting my habit and closing the recycling circle!