Monday, December 26, 2016

TWAS' THE SHITSTORM BEFORE CHRISTMAS




I thought I wasn't gonna blog until the new year, but, with a lot of people off of work, and me being awake at an ungodly hour, I figured I'd kill some time while I wait for the gym to open.
 Christmas....I thought it was going to be disastrous, but ended up being probably one of the best.
All the shit that leads up to it...the elf on the shelf bullshit, my sons obsessive compulsiveness over toys, the shopping, the god awful traffic, the sheer disgusting consumerism that we have been programmed to put ourselves in debt to buy people shit they don't need, the cooking, the cooking gone wrong, the multiple family visits, the constant barrage of Christmas music, the same 4 Christmas movies played over and over, etc. When the smoke cleared...it was really a wonderful time spent with wonderful people, and nothing makes about 40 days of bullshit better, than the joy of children. That shit is  priceless.
 Maybe it's age, maybe it's hectic life schedules, but for me, being able to spend good quality time with people I love, if only for a few hours over a couple of days, holds a value beyond anything else. It should be something practiced well over the once a year Holiday debacle.
 The clock starts ticking the minute we pop out of the vagina. We never know how long we have. Some people's time is cut shorter than others, so it would be in our best interest to make these minutes count. The fucked up thing is that, for me, I didn't take my time limit into consideration until about middle age. I was pretty sure I was gonna live forever when I was a younger asshole. The reality, as painful as it is, is that your days are numbered, and you have been left out of the loop on just how many days you get.
 So...live it up. Make shit count. Chuck your grudges. Be kind. Enjoy life.
Ah, well, that was kind of depressing.
 Hey...we made some cool shit.
First one up...the Cafe Camp out chair.
 Hand painted steel base, wood seat and back, attached table and coat hook.
Made for a cafe where your fat ass is planted drinking over priced bean water, staring at a laptop trying to look busy, independent, and oh so important....this ones for you douche' bag.
 Next up...Hand painted steel arrow hanger.
Made as a Christmas present for Zack, cause I'm broke as fuck.
 Third...
Hand painted rebar and old growth coffee cup tree.
 Made as a gift for the person in my Secret Santa.
Kinda gay, but totally useful.
 No I didn't make the cups, bought that shit on sale at Target, in fact, there were only 3, and I lifted the 4th out of an old lady's shopping cart (what was she gonna do with one coffee cup anyway?)
 Lastly...
Friday, Zack was tucked in the corner of the shop doing some secret type of shit. I sauntered over and caught a glimpse of him carving and Old English "B" into a slab of leather. I carried on with my work and at the end of the day, he hands me a hand made, hand carved, veg tan leather belt, he mutters something which I translated as "Merry Christmas", and then adjourned back to his work bench.
 On my drive home that night, I had a moment to take in just how lucky I am.
When I got home on the eve of Christmas Eve, the house was full of kids, Laura and her niece were running out for last minute Christmas shopping, and when they returned we went out for pizza, and the stage was set for what ended up being a beautiful Christmas.
 I'm lucky...you're probably lucky too...don't take it for granted.

Monday, December 12, 2016

BLOWING MY PROVERBIAL LOAD






This will most likely be the last post of 2016.
 There are a few weeks left before the new year, but quite frankly, I have a ton of shit to do. I haven't even thought about Christmas shopping, my son is about to be on Christmas break and "blogging", believe it or not, has always been somewhat taxing.
 Usually when we build stuff, I space the pieces out for the blog so that I'll always have some content, but since I'm gonna close out the year, I'm going to blow my proverbial load.
 Zack put in hella work on the vintage trunk "mandrobe" cabinet.
There was an awkward moment in the shop as I was standing there in a t shirt and socks because we needing clothing to stage the photo.
 The next piece is a live edge side table where we utilized the pedals from a piano as the back supporting leg.
The following photo is a steel desk where the front legs were used from a grand piano. Shit gets tricky because a piano only has 3 legs, and those legs are only 24" tall, so you really need to think outside the box when you're repurposing.
 The next 3 are Whiskey carafe's or whiskey holders, or pourers, or displays, or whatever you want to use them for.
 We never really build around a specific object. We usually build off a measurement and materials available.
With these whiskey carafe's we built specifically around the particular brand bottle.
 Take a stroll down any liquor aisle and you'll see that all of these bottles are autonomous. They vary in shape, and for us, THAT is the fun part. Molding steel around a piece of glass is a very rewarding experience.
 If you scroll back to the blog about the "Custer's last stand" coat rack, I'd like to report that it worked out great. All of our coats are now well organized and easily accessible, but in terms of the rack itself, which I consider a piece of functional art, is GONE. I mean it's there...just covered in coats...behind a door.
 You don't put an original Keith Haring painting in a vault, you display that shit.
That's the problem with functional art...it needs to function, and in this case, it's "function" happens to mean being covered up with coats.
 Which brings me to the last photo, which is a mini version of "Custers last stand" and meant to be used in a bathroom where you can hang 2 towels and you have a robe hook available if you're the robe wearing type.
 Yeah it's a little dangerous, I mean if you don't hang it in the right spot, you could end up losing an eye or needing a few stitches, but I can safely say that I've been walking in and out of various bathrooms for the last 40 plus years, and every last one of them had something hung on a wall and I've escaped each and every visit without injury.
 Quick little peek into what 2017 will bring from the MAKERS...I promise that at some point in 2017 we will have a website. People will be able to not only view our work, but purchasing and having custom pieces built will be wayyyy fuckin' easier.
 We are going to have Merch (t shirts, thermals, hats...all types of shit). I've always been a fan of fashion and design (who knew?) and if fashion and design can piggy back something I already love, and actually work, well...I'm just gonna have to give it a go and see what happens.
 Hugs and kisses till next year my friends!
Thank you for reading and in the meantime you can follow Breclaimed and Makerschicago on instagram, where shit that you don't find on here is posted almost daily.
 Have a great Holiday.

Monday, December 5, 2016

HOLIDAY TIRADE



Apparently your environment stimulates your creativity.
 We have been bulldozing through new pieces lately, and it's been done in such a way that you would think we were mad at art.
 Next week I'm going to focus on the brilliance that Zack has been churning out in the blog.
We've been on this creative high, and just feeding off each others energy, and when you're in that mode, you have to embrace it and exhaust it.
 "Custers Last Stand" which was named by my friend Dr. Andrew Carr, was created because we have some coat issues going on on at my house. 3 humans live in my home and there are 17 jackets for some reason. I have coat hangers behind every door and we're still coming up short on space.
 Standing coat racks are gay ( and I don't mean gay in the sense that they have sex with other coat racks, and I refuse to NOT use a term that I've been using since before I even knew or cared if people of the same gender  were getting it on, and I still don't care). So, I decided to go off  the reservation (no pun intended) and make a "functional art" piece that can be used as a coat rack.
 Due to the current situation at Standing Rock, it would not be appropriate to call it the "Standing Rack", hence the good Dr. Carr renaming it.
 So to the people who think that I'm disrespecting the current situation at Standing Rock can go fart in a bottle because art has always been dictated by political or social situations.
 I hate the fact that I have to throw disclaimers out left and right because people are so fuckin' thin skinned these days.
 I just saw some shit that said "words hurt"....words hurt when you're a child, but no children read my blog and if they are old enough to read, then they're old enough to execute the "sticks and stones" principals.
 Stop raising pussies. Thank you.
 The next piece is a glass and steel coffee table.
This piece also involves Dr. Carr. We were talking about a coffee table for his waiting room. It's a bent sheet metal 2 tier coffee table with a steel mesh shelf that sits under the glass for displaying magazines, because after all, what doctors office doesn't have a hefty selection of magazines. It's sitting in the MAKERS lounge because I'm not done fucking with it.
 Sometimes you just gotta live with a piece for a minute, and one day you'll add a detail that will let you know that it is officially complete.
 My son is obsessed with Christmas. Last week, we went to a mall with my mom. We never go to malls, but I know they usually decorate the shit out of those places and I thought the kid would get a kick out of it, not to mention that his grandma is in her glory when there is a potential for a sale.
 My boy and his grandmother definitely enjoyed the experience, me...I had to hold back my vomit.
BUY-BUY-BUY, sift through these mountains of poorly made, outsourced, over priced heaps of shit.
 How in the holy fuck does buying someone some bullshit sweater say "hey man...thanks for you just being you, Merry Christmas"
 Kids and toys...I get it it, but adults exchanging boxes of garbage...I just don't get it.
Me and my girl have busted our asses all year raising our son and trying to just live a peaceful happy life, and when Christmas rolls around I'll be damned if I'm gonna get her a pair of boots and say "Merry Christmas bitch, go play in the snow.",  I mean what the fuck is THAT?!
 I'm better than that, you're better than that, you're loved ones are better than that.
Your shithead co-worker, or that weird cousin...go ahead and get those fuckers some gloves, but people you love...people that have impacted your year, people that deserve more from you...be creative.
 Give those people some shit from your heart and not from the sale rack.
What the fuck can anyone get me that I can't or won't get myself?
 Give me an experience. Give me a moment, a memory. If it has to be something tangible, make it something that says you listen to me, that you know my interests, that you... at the very least... paid attention.
 All that shit takes way more effort then you may be willing to invest, so if you're gonna go with a boxable gift, please shop small, or buy art. The money you spend with small business or artists has the ability to change people lives.
 That concludes my Holiday tirade.