The Lost Art of Tinkering – Day 73

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 73 of the 365 Days Project is by Aaron Kramer.]

"Pin Worm" by Aaron Kramer - Copyright © All Rights Reserved
“Pin Worm” by Aaron Kramer – Copyright © All Rights Reserved

“Trash is the failure of imagination.” – Aaron Kramer

#73 – Tinkering is a form of creation that’s part art, part craft, part invention. No matter what you call it, the process calls upon both sides of the brain, fueled by a healthy dose of childlike curiosity and imagination.

As in many small American towns in the sixties and seventies, I grew up in a neighborhood full of tinkerers. Old Mr. Wolf could always be found in his garage, rebuilding lawn mowers out of used parts, which always drew a crowd of boys eager to learn the tricks of the trade. One of my uncles once constructed a full-size airplane, which unfortunately met its demise on its maiden flight over a field in Vermont. My father had a workshop where he constructed birdhouses out of scrap lumber and brought old toys back to life for us kids to play with.

I thought that those times were long gone until I came across Aaron Kramer’s work, which brought me right back to my childhood. Excited by the process of reinvention, Kramer is a woodworker, welder, artist and an inventor who “makes cool stuff outta stuff” – from cardboard to tin cans to reclaimed wood. I literally spent hours on his site, surfing through the prolific collection of fascinating art and mechanical contraptions and watching the videos of how many of his interactive pieces moved.

Check out this tinkered treasure:

"Benefactor Piece for Tree People" by Aaron Kramer - Copyright © All Rights Reserved
“Benefactor Piece for Tree People” by Aaron Kramer – Copyright © All Rights Reserved

To get the full effect of this piece, click here to see it in motion. It brings out a childlike sense of wonder and awe for simple things – a rare experience these days!

Not only is Kramer a designer and an inventor, he’s also an accomplished artist – taking street sweeper bristles and strapping material and turning them into luscious gourd-like forms and vessels, as in the image, “Two Necked,” below. In all of his work, Kramer artfully combines form with a high level of craftsmanship and engineering to create “sustainable artwork with an organic soul.”

Not surprisingly, he also gets kids involved, not only in the process but in the appreciation of the finished pieces. The original Pin Worm, pictured at the top of this article, was sold to a couple of sixth graders as part of an art-buying program funded by adults. The children were each given a sum of money and an adult minder. Kramer hadthem pool their money to buy the piece, which became part of a traveling exhibit that was curated by kids.

The world could definitely use more tinkerers like Aaron Kramer…

"Two Necked" by Aaron Kramer - Copyright © All Rights Reserved
“Two Necked” by Aaron Kramer – Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Aaron Kramer’s artwork can be viewed at: Aaron Kramer – Urban Objects

Description of the images included in this post:
Pin Worm
Aaron Kramer, California, USA
Recycled materials

Benefactor Piece for Tree People
Aaron Kramer, California, USA
Recycled materials

Two Necked
Aaron Kramer, California, USA
Recycled materials

The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

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