"It all started with a simple question, 'Do you want these?' It was a box full of metal file cabinet folder separators.I knew that I could make something out of them if I could weld them all together, but I didn’t know how to weld. I learned that welding isn’t rocket science and it’s fun. Using the 'magic' of welding I assembled and recycled that box of junk into a chandelier. It was love at first arc.
Recycling, repurposing, repairing, and restoring are my artists' modus operandi. For example my kitchen pantry would have boxes of old stale foods that my kids never finished. I gathered up all the stale pretzels, Nilla wafers, Fruit Loops, cheese puffs, crackers, and pasta noodles then fashioned them into a family project gingerbread house.
Another example, my wife and I flip houses. You recycle a run-down uninhabitable property into a useful home. We just finished our 5th.
So when I come across old rusty iron fences, andirons, railings, and architectural salvage I immediately try to think of what I make out of them.
I aim for useful artistic end products that give that old treasure a new life. Besides rummaging through scrap yards and garage sales I am also a dahlia grower, breeder, and supplier. Also a model ship builder, novelty necktie collector, bicycle restorer, photogragher, and gingerbread house maker. (google john learner gingerbread house)
My day-job for the past 35 years was very time consuming and restricted me from my artistic inclinations. I enjoyed and concentrated on my dental profession for all those years and for all those nice patients. I am now officially retired and free to weld together art objects with reckless abandon. A shout out to the AkronMakerSpace people who are teaching me the basics of welding."
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Open Mon-Fri 10-6 and Sat 10-5