This press release was submitted by Todd Krieger for the Needham Open Studios
When Needham residents who drop off their trash at the Needham Recycling and Transfer Station see discarded VCRs and computers, they don’t typically envision parts of the old electronics being recycled into jewelry that would be worthy of the MIT Museum in Cambridge or fine craft galleries.
Needham resident Todd Krieger, however, transforms this electronic waste into fashionable brooches and pendants whose origins look more like they came from a Victorian artisan’s workshop rather than a motor from a broken computer.
Todd leverages the original patterns, shapes, colors, and textures of the discarded parts as a base for the jewelry. He adds additional dimensionality to the copper, blue, red, and green motor windings with enhancements such as hidden mirrors, refracting glass rhinestones, vintage metal filigrees, the glowing sheen of pearls, or antique elements and other unique findings.
In order to find interesting jewelry components that complement the recycled parts, Todd looks for inspiration from around the world by importing jewelry pieces for his work and sometimes bringing back unique additions from the travels required by his day job as a corporate attorney at a Cambridge software company.
Airport security personnel in London hand searched his luggage last year when they couldn’t identify a large metal mass on their luggage scanner, which turned out to be a bag of antique English coins that were destined to become part of Todd’s jewelry. His work was prominently featured in the Boston Phoenix’s holiday gift guide this past December after the managing editor saw the jewelry on display at the MIT Museum store.
The recycled jewelry is sold locally at Artitudes Gallery in West Newton (www.artitudesgallery.com) and the MIT Museum store in Cambridge (museum.mit.edu) and at Gorse Mill Studios (www.gorsemillstudios.com) during Needham Open Studios (www.needhamopenstudios.com).
On May 4th and 5th, as part of Needham Open Studios, visitors can see Todd’s work in the studio that he shares with his wife, Karen, who is also an artist. Her mixed media paintings (http://www.art203.com/) focus on a contemporary vision of Chinese ink and wash painting from a western view point.
Hidden among the other artwork lining the Gorse Mill studios walls are also several interactive devices that Todd also created with other parts of recycled electronics from the Needham Recycling and Waste Transfer station.
These devices captivate children and adults alike because they use old rotary phone dials, switches, and even a fire alarm handle to activate various buzzers, gauges, motors, and other recycled electro-mechanical components. One piece titled ‘Minor Keys’ uses motors and magnets to make suspended piano keys move as if they were being played on original piano that was long since discarded next to the waste metal section of the transfer station. Another piece incorporates foosball players from a discarded game spinning on recycled computer motors with music playing from an old musical greeting card.
Visitors to Gorse Mill Studios on May 4th and 5th, whether they are looking to appreciate art, see what their neighbors have been up to, or shop for a unique Mother’s Day gift, won’t be disappointed!