Friday, September 28, 2012


In Michigan, Grand Rapids ArtPrize is going on this weekend (and until October 7th) and there is a two-hundred-thousand dollar purse for the best of show.  I'm sorry I can't attend it because if I could, I surely would vote for Tom Kaufmann's Junkyard Music Box. It combines many of my loves into one neat package --  music, scavenging, re-purposing and even friendship.  (Friendship played heavily in the making of this creation because, although Tom conceived the idea, many hands helped him achieve his stellar entry.)

Tom is from my hometown of Hastings, Michigan and, even though in sixth grade he once spontaneously told me that he wouldn't date me even if I were the last girl on earth, I am going to overlook my wounded pride and wish him the Grand Prize that he so clearly deserves. 

If you happen to attend ArtPrize, please take a moment to vote for Tom.  His creativity and musical genius should be rewarded with cold cash.

The Junkyard Music Box
Inspired by Tom's massive and successful project, I decided to attempt to (drum roll, please) assemble a tulip chair for my grandson.  I know it's paltry by comparison to Tom's way-cool Junkyard Music Box, but I have zero mechanical aptitude -- I can't even use a vacuum cleaner without breaking it -- and this seemed as insurmountable to me as making a pile of junk morph into a melodic beauty.

The directions, straight from China, were six pages long.  Still, I plodded through them one step at a time and success was MINE!  I got all the way to the final step before I hit a snafu.  "Now go back and securely tighten all bolts and nuts."  No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the nuts to move all the way up the bolts like they were supposed to.  Both ends twirled every time I tried to tighten the nut.

Since my Grandson will be sitting in this chair, I decided to let my muscle-y husband go back and do the "securing" step.  Above all, I want to be sure the chair is safe to sit in.  My pride is a little bit dinged yet again, but even Tom has a team.
* * *

 UPDATE:  When I was cleaning up my mess, I found this mysterious tool under the pile of instructions.  When I stuck it in the top of the bolt, I was able to use the wrench to truly "securely tighten all bolts and nuts."  So, my team will only have to check my work, not do it.

I'm on a roll!  I think I'll go vacuum...

1 comment:

Cindy Preston said...

Way to go, Chris! The initial round of public voting for Artprize ends tomorrow, as of now Tom's entry is not in the top 100 :( maybe your blog will go viral and help him win!