22 Jun 2008

Artisan of the week, Ann of BurrowBurrow

This weeks artisan makes the most gorgeous robotic like sculptures. Ann Smith's attention to detail is what drew me to want to share her work with you. I saw one of her pieces on the front page of Etsy and followed it to her shop, which is full of the most fabulous creatures all made out of broken machine parts and recycled electronic components. I swear if they don't bring a smile to your face you must be dead or made of stone.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
My name is Ann Smith; I make little robotic like animal sculptures in my studio located in Providence RI. To make these pieces, I use mostly salvaged electronics such as printers, old computers, phones, cameras, keyboards, stereo equipment. I also use mechanical objects like clocks and typewriters almost anything the I can take apart.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I was working on an assignment for my introduction to illustration course at RISD. The assignment was to create a piece in response to the general concept of technology. On my way to class I had noticed a broken telephone and answering machine so I decided to disassemble it and try to make a robot out of it. The first thing I noticed when I took apart the phone was that the feet resembled horse hooves, so I decided to make a horse. I thought of it as a sort of Trojan Horse of technology. When I brought it in for critique the class agreed that the concept was a little off but the piece itself was a success.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
I like things that are intricate and well crafted; things that can move. I enjoy taking junk and turning it into art. I like the challenge of recreating different animals.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
Making the joints move like I want them to is always a challenge. Sometimes they are not strong enough to hold the weight of the animals and they end up collapsing. I am always looking for the perfect material to put in between the joints to make them flexible and stable. Some animals with long thin legs become very wobbly when I stand them up, and the tension of springs can help steady them. I'll take a piece apart and put it back together several times before it feels right. It's always satisfying when it finally works out.

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year's time?
Portland, Oregon... or CalArts for grad school. Either way I'd call it a win!

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Take it easy!

7. Name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
Evan Larson
Kelly Murphy
Maris Wicks
Joe Quinones

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
I really love cheese...

I love cheese too! Thank you Ann for joining in with our blog. I am particularly fond of your Velociraptor. The fact that you make all of these fabulous creatures out of what some people would class as junk/landfill fills me with joy. I'm so glad to be sharing your work with my readers. Visit her shop and her site people and see all Ann's creations.


  1. Great interview. I love her shop!

    "I love cheese too!" made me laugh!

  2. Wow, what work..This is so different from and she does such a beautiful job..Good interview..
    hope you are feeling better..

  3. These are amazing and has such a appeal in a geeky sort of way. I just showed them to my engineering student daughter and she's fascinated by these.


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP