Next time you are in Leslieville stop into the Arts Market and check out my display… right up front, next to the front window. Scrap Wood Tables, Found Object Clocks, Shadow Box Locks and more!
Davis Canadian Arts, a beautiful gallery in the heart of Stratford Ontario, now has a selection my Scrap Wood Tables and Found Object Clock Sculptures for sale. This one highlights the beauty of a Victorian cast iron fireplace… (and it weighs a ton)
Visiting Bayfield Ontario? Marten Arts at 17 Main Street now carries my Scrap Wood Tables and Assemblage Designs. Check them out and let me know what you think here or on my Facebook or Twitter.
What I do
Hi my name is Paul, I design one of a kind, functional art and décor from pre-existing components; adaptive reuse of the discarded artefacts of human kind. What started out as a way to acquire quality materials at a reasonable price has turned into a bit of an environmental crusade. I’ve been doing this, in one form or another, for 30 years. In that time I have acquired the unique skill set required to transform materials destined for the landfill into edgy modern design. My goal, both as an artist and as a furniture maker is to take the medium of Assemblage to a level where it is no longer just Upcycling, but where the design can hold it’s own next to the most beautiful of today’s current trends. This is no easy feat when your raw materials are prebuilt elements. It takes strong vision, much trial and error and the acumen to work in a cooperative relationship with the components; celebrating their history on a very modern stage.
As we move into the next few decades, our awareness of the abusive consumption of raw materials will grow and we will be faced with two choices: stop progress and make do with what we have, or find ways of making what we already have into a new and exciting future. As a culture I think we will always need to move forward and express ourselves with new ideas, designs and styles: it’s what defines us. As a people we need to celebrate the fact that we possess the intelligence to find a creative way to achieve this. I hope that my work can, in some small way, show that being responsible about consumption, mixed with a bit of innovation can produce a beautiful and exciting future for design.
Thanks for your interest. Please like and share this post on Twitter, Facebook or your blog, it’s much appreciated,
The Medium is the Message – Marshall McLuhan
I lived with my Great Grandmother until I was twelve. My Great Grandmother’s house had a ‘button jar’. At one time every house had a button jar. When a button fell off a shirt my Great Grandmother went to her button jar, found a suitable button and sewed it on. When that shirt got a tear, it was mended. When that shirt got too many tears, the buttons were cut off and returned to the button jar. The shirt was cut into pieces and those pieces went into the ‘rag bag’. Those rags washed widows, wiped spills and became beautiful, mishmash patchwork quilts. My Great Grandmother had never heard of the words ‘recycling’ or ‘repurposing’. There were no plastic Blue Bins; there was only a garbage can… one very small, metal garbage can … for a household of six people.
The sad dichotomy of our times is that we are a people in celebration of an age of new found environmental awareness, and yet this same era only celebrates all that is new and shiny, disposable and characterless. It looks down on anything used, worn or out of date. We are proud that we sort our garbage and use cloth grocery bags but turn up our noses at last year’s styles. Past generations who didn’t think about the environment, with only their pride of frugality, made due with far less, recycled far more and took care of the earth better than we do today.
Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I truly get excited by finding new uses for old things, for buying used items instead of new, knowing how to repair, for being creative enough to make use or beauty from other peoples garbage, for outsmarting the global system of commercialization. Whether it’s for my own use or use in my art, I love the history, the quality and uniqueness of these things. I think about their past and where they will go in the future. I think about the people who have possessed them and events they have been witness to. These items salute the character of the quirks that only come with age and the scourges of time. In my assemblages, rusted parts of machines, cherished dolls, carpenters tools, jewellery and clothing from eras past are the veterans of a time that shaped the world we live in. They proudly come to my art with their own unique character scars and personal experiences, in the form of dents and cracks. They are like aging actors who have shed their utilitarian lives and bring to the viewer their valuable experience and a reality that could otherwise not be achieved with any other medium. It’s a play that is part whimsy, part Frankenstein and sometimes I feel more like the director than the creator of my own work.
My hope is that my art will help the viewer to reconnect a little with the history of the hands that have touched these humble artefacts of humankind and understand that wear doesn’t necessarily detract from something’s value, it can add to it. Maybe after seeing my art, some of the junk of yesterday will find a new use today.
We need a revolution; we need more button jars!