I'm not sure how it happened, but within the past week I've become completely obsessed with antique/vintage combination locks. I have this sudden compulsion to saw one apart to pieces, and then use these pieces in a new piece of work. Well, what I'm really after is the actual dial, but if I find some interesting mechanical pieces inside the case that would be a bonus find. I've been stalking them on ebay lately and here are a few of my favorites:
So, needless to say I'm really excited today because I just won one made in the 1920's. It's not the coolest one ever, but it's a start. I like it because unlike the modern version (where you dial the whole face) you only dial the knob in the middle of the face. Here's what this version looks like:
I just love this kind of old stuff, and used to almost feel guilty deconstructing old things to repurpose for my artwork. But then I conveniently (and very effectively) reprogrammed myself into believing that so many of these wonderful old things are not really in a form to be enjoyed and appreciated as they are; I believe that more people will get more pleasure out of these things if I allow them to walk among us. That's why I'm OK with cutting apart 19th C. stock certificates and 19th C. glass negatives and things like that...I honestly believe that each is a kind of sacred object on some level, with their history and all, but then I think, what's the point in thinking these things are special and then hiding them away where NO ONE will EVER see them? I feel a certain responsibility to share what it is that I find so special about these objects.
In the end I honestly believe that these things wind up in a better form. I guess in my mind it's some kind of really posh retirement for them...or perhaps their nirvana? I hope so.