I am often asked why or how I got started as an industrial artist. Well, that question is very difficult to answer because I really don’t know the “how” or the “why.” Over the years, it just happened. I began repurposing or re-envisioning things long before there was a trendy name for it, but I was doing just that.
A bicycle turned into a garden table, and a vintage, 10-pane French door is now a showpiece for family photos that hangs over our couch. My passion leans towards the industrial and rusty side of things. Antique car jacks are lamps. Industrial machine bases become the foundation for a table. Discarded Tonka trucks are solar-powered outdoor garden lighting, and the list goes on for far too long. After years of creating this type of funk-tional art at home, I was overwhelmed with completed works and began offering them to the adventuresome people that enjoy the truly “different” things in life. This led me to form a business called Rust, Dust & Other Four Letter Words and open a studio in November 2014 in The Waterloo Arts District at Article (art in cleveland) at 15316 Waterloo Road, Cleveland. While nearing retirement, the hope is that Rust, Dust & Other Four Letter Words will carry me through the next stage of my life.
For the most part, my passion has been widely accepted by the non-conventional individual who is looking for that conversation or statement piece for his or her home, office, loft or for an outdoor entertaining space.
I love working with found objects and creating something uniquely one-of-a-kind. Time-worn barn siding, pieces and parts of vintage items, salvaged industrial items or any other material that most folks would consider junk – that’s what I look for and more often than not those items “find” me. Frequently, I make trips to HGR’s showroom to find inspirational pieces. I rarely go in there looking for something specials. I love seeing the look on my salesman Rob’s face when I show him what I’m purchasing. It is usually followed by, “What are you going to do with that?” I reply, “I don’t know, but isn’t it wild or cool.” Months later, when I’m in there for new purchases and I show him the completed piece, he is often amazed by what I did with the raw material I found in the showroom.