A Feel For Surreal Interview With Upcycling Artista Jen Hardwick!
Q: Your creations bring us back to the childhood days of the “I Spy” book series. What inspired your creations?
A: I’m mostly inspired by my materials. Rusty metal pieces, vintage game pieces, children’s building blocks all inspire a creative spark in me.
Q: Where do you find all those little pieces?
A: Somehow they just find their way into the boxes I get from yard and estate sales. It seems like they multiply in the night.
Q: Some of your pieces such as “The Queen of Things Discarded and Forgotten” are really elaborate. How long do these pieces generally take to complete?
A: That piece took several months. It was originally just going to be her head with the crown and collar but then it just got away from me like so many of my pieces do.
Q: Do you have a favorite ‘type’ of creation to make?
A: I don’t know if this is really a “type” but I love when I get an idea and I’m able to just sit down and create an assemblage within a matter of hours. It is an amazing feeling.
Q: Through all of your collecting, what is your favorite type of thing to work with?
A: I really enjoy working with children’s toys, building blocks, and vintage game pieces. I love the color they bring into my pieces.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have worked into a piece?
A: I used a small plumber’s float, covered it in paper, and painted it lime green for an alien head.
Q: Do you ever hide secret messages in your work?
A: I haven’t but I like that idea.
Q: A few of your pieces are borderline steampunk. Have you ever thought about trying steampunk as a genre unto itself?
A: I don’t really work in any specific genre, but draw inspiration and design philosophy from any number of sources. Steampunk esthetic lends a lot of flavor to my pieces but I go where my materials take me. Sometimes that means some Steampunk influence or a childlike quality or maybe an air of nostalgia.
Jen Hardwick everyone! Fantastic.
If you would like to recapture some childhood memories,
Or to find out more about the wearable pins she has crafted,
Check out her site at: