Fantastic, funky, fine, futuristic, flamboyant, fetching, fierce, fanciful, quirky and wonky.
Amy Flynn’s amazing FOBOTS (Found Object Robots) are just plain fun! She scours the world for cool junk to create her one-of-a-kind sculptures, fascinating characters who go by such whimsical, punny names as “Biscotty,” “Boobarella,” “Dan Sedan,” “Robot Robama,” and “Scubi Dude.”
A freelance illustrator for 25+ years (greeting cards, children’s books, giftware), Amy shifted her focus to fobots when the economy tanked in 2008. She admits to always having a weird fixation for robots and loving flea markets, so why not exercise her creative muscle by doing something that truly makes her happy?
She lives in a 1920’s house and her first fobot was made from an original doorknob as well as other junk she found in her basement. Now, in addition to flea markets and scrapyards, Amy finds spare parts via internet auctions. She solders and bolts the pieces together and includes a numbered copper plate on the back of each sculpture. If the fobot opens, there’s a metal heart inside, just like the tin man.
I especially love the fobots made from kitchen objects — spice containers, bundt pans, tea balls, whisks, jello molds, tart tins, cake decorating tips, pastry blenders — but I’m equally impressed by how she incorporates such odds and ends as pool balls, camera parts, hair dryers, clock faces, sewing machine attachments, locks, hose fittings, opera glasses, drawer pulls, gauges, and jewelry. Somehow, she makes it all work with an irresistibly charming end product that brims with personality and narrative potential.
Truly an innovative artist with an environmental conscience, Amy loves each step of the process — the thrill of the chase, assembly of spare parts, soldering and bolting, naming her fobots, and then finally seeing them find just the right homes via art shows and festivals around the country.
It was hard deciding which ones to share here since I love so many of them. Much of the fun is examining each carefully to try to recognize all the parts. Enjoy!
* Though all her pieces are one-of-a-kind, if you see something you like that’s already sold, just ask Amy and she can try to make something similar.
** Very cool: Amy can also make a custom fobot using your personal heirloom or collectible. Contact her for a quote including shipping and handling.
So, what’s in your basement?
Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.