Functional Sculpture

I’ve always loved taking things apart (especially older technology) to try and figure out how they work. For these art pieces, I put various parts back together to create new objects that are functional and beautiful.

The first image below is a retro flip-clock supported by a bicycle seat mount bar attached to a wooden lid from a glass jar. Various nuts, bolts and connectors were also used to hold it all together.

The second image is a lamp I built from an old metal file box – the type people used to keep 3×5 index cards in. I added a simple light socket, and 4 brass plumb bobs for feet. Metal conduit and an oversized wall plug complete the industrial look.


Retro Flip-Clock


File Box Lamp

Below you can see the connection of the conduit/cord on the bottom of the lamp. With the cover removed, you can see the light fixture and bicycle reflector above it.


File Box Lamp: conduit/cord connection


File Box Lamp: light fixture and reflector

The Media Box is a concept for a retro-tech, all-in-one, CEED (Communication, Education, Entertainment Device). Push the keyboard/selector controls into the box, slide the cover on and carry it wherever you need to go. Today we have mobile phones and tablets, but back in the day it’s cool to think they could have looked like this.


Media Box: front


Media Box: side

The Monocular is a study in interpersonal (face-to-face) communication. Two sides. One side is open, honest, sincere. The other is obscured, mistrusting, devious. Turn your head slightly to present the side you want to direct the conversation with.


Monocular: front

Monocular: side

Monocular: detail

The Kickstand Clock combines the sturdy, steel case of an old alarm clock (they don’t make them like that anymore) with a side-pull caliper brake and kickstand from an equally vintage bicycle, giving it a 3-legged (or 2 legs and a tail), almost animal-like stance. I can imagine it ringing and dragging itself away as I try to turn it off in the morning – probably trying to escape since I’ve obviously neglected it – look at all that rust!


Kickstand Clock


Kickstand Clock: detail

As a kid, I had hours of fun swooshing star fighters and defending forest moons with my Star Wars toys. Along with the Millennium Falcon (of course), the Ewok Village Playset was always one of my favorites. When my son was done playing with it and my hopes of funding his college education by selling it to a discerning collector were dashed (seriously, check eBay’s prices for “not in box” 80s toys – they’re depressing) I figured giving it new life as a desk lamp was a way to keep on enjoying it.


Ewok Village Lamp


Ewok Village Lamp: detail

Learn more about how I put the Ewok Village Lamp together by clicking here.

I’ve needed a stand that lets my laptop breathe for a long time. It felt right to make one from scavenged parts. I played with the wooden blocks as a kid and now my son does (well, minus the 2 I stole for this haha). The images below show the progression of figuring out connections to finished product.


Wood Block Laptop Stand: parts

Wood Block Laptop Stand: connections

Wood Block Laptop Stand: complete

Wood Block Laptop Stand

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