Meet the Artist
Since the beginning years of HO slot cars and Hot Wheels, I have been affected. Good or bad, who knows. Still have all the Hot Wheels in an acrylic display case, and have been known to fly over 5000 miles away just to play slot cars. So, I really think I’m over it.
Then there are the 1:1 scale cars. Collecting is still fun (more than one is a collection, and after all I am an Alfa guy) but storage can be a real problem. I appreciate most all genres, but in the end I always seem to be focusing on the Italian makes. That’s where I find the handcraftedness and passion embedded design. I started off with a ’68 Alfa GT1300 Junior many years after being introduced to GTV’s in the IMSA B Sedan series. We always arrived in my dad’s BMW, and went home sad after losses to the 510′s and Alfa ‘banana’ cars.
I went to work as a mechanical assembler in company that had an R&D laboratory chock full of unlimited equipment where I soon became an R&D Prototype Engineer. It was kind of a home away from home… I stayed there for over 25 years until they closed the doors.
Since the early 80′s, I would craft a project for holiday gifts. I would make something in plexiglass, wood or metal, but usually plexi, often cranking out 25 to 30 of whatever I made. These gifts always seemed to be a favorite of the recipients that were on my list. Often times I also made special one-off items for my family members. All of these items were not ‘crafty’ type items held together with hot glue, they were usually of modernistic design, machined with the nominal precision – or better, of the tools used. Then all were hand finished to perfection. There were bowls, trivets, candle holders, picture frames, all sorts of jewelry, flowers, notepad holders, and sometimes just objects of art that did their best to simply collect dust – but always looked good doing it. Two of the items were resin cast. I took a particular interest in these. As the ideas got more complicated and technical, it was opportune that there was equipment to match what I needed to do at my home away from home. This continued virtually every year until just a few years ago.
Adventures at the Monterey Historics since the mid 80′s always involved checking in to see what the artists were creating and selling for staggering amounts of cash. I thought, “Hey I can do that! – But why so expensive?” Turns out it’s a lot harder to make the piece actually look like something, rather than simply your own design. After 8 months of working until I was happy with the Duetto, I now have a new incredible respect for the artists who are making accurate likenesses.
Thank You for looking! David