Monthly Archives: June 2012

An Interview with ACE Artist Amy Flynn

This week I had the privilege of interviewing Amy Flynn, the amazing artist behind Fobots. You are probably wondering what a “Fobot” is. Well, I’m here to tell you “Fobots” is short for Found Object Robots. Once you lay your eyes on these unique pieces of art, you will be just as amazed as I was!

Amy wasn’t always making Fobots – She used to be a professional illustrator for giftware and greeting card companies, until the economic downfall when her clients began canceling contracts, going bankrupt and failing to pay her. Amy was going through a difficult time in her life when finally her husband told her, “Why don’t you take some time off and make some of your robots? You’re so much happier when you’re making robots.” At that moment the Fobots were born and Amy combined two of her favorite passions: shopping and creating stuff.

Most of Amy’s Fobots are made from vintage junk found at flea markets, junkyards, in basements and auctions. Amy’s little metal friends are admired by many – Bringing joy & smiles to her and her clients everyday.

My Interview with Amy

Q: How long have you been exhibiting at The American Craft Exposition? 

A: This will be my first year, and my first INDOOR art show. You won’t believe how grateful I’ve become for the miracle of air-conditioning after three years of outdoor shows.

Q: What is your medium and what techniques do you use? 

A: I search for really cool vintage stuff, and then solder and bolt the pieces together to create one-of-a-kind found object robots I call “Fobots”. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that, but a more thorough explanation would take hours and bore you silly.

Q: Do you have a back-story for your artwork, and what is your inspiration? 

A: I was a professional illustrator for 27 years, working primarily for greeting card and giftware companies and children’s book publishers.  But when the economy started to nose-dive in 2008, much of my freelance work started drying up. My biggest client, American Greetings, put a one-year moratorium on buying freelance work, and other companies were going bankrupt or failing to pay me for completed jobs. I was at my wit’s end.  But I had already started making some quirky little robots out of junk from out basement and the flea market.  My wonderful husband suggested that I take a few weeks off from illustration until things improved (HAH!) and to make some more robots.  “You’re so much happier when you’re making your robots” were his exact words. So I did, and I’ve never looked back. As for inspiration, I’ve always had a fascination with robots.  And I love shopping at flea markets. Eventually, the two passions came together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Q: How does your art connect to your life? 

A: I like to tell my customers that it combines my two favorite things–making art and shopping. I love going to flea markets and antique malls and hunting for treasure–and I’m very picky about what treasure I use, so it’s a fun challenge. 

Q: How would you describe your own artwork? 

A: I wouldn’t, but the adjectives my customers use most are “clever”, “imaginative”, “awesome”, “funny”, and “cool”.

Q: What type of success has your artwork brought you? 

A: I’ve gotten into many of the most prestigious art shows in the country, but I’d have to say that the greatest success the bots have brought me is this; I’m so much happier now.  I love making them, I love looking for parts, I love not worrying about where my next freelance job is coming from, I love traveling the country with my husband, doing art shows, I love the smiles on people’s faces when they enter my booth, I love my life.Image

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2012 ACE Artists Announced!

Hey there craft lovers! It’s a pretty exciting time around for craft enthusiasts and artists alike. We’re proud to announce the 2012 American Craft Exposition artists below. (As always, you can also find the complete list here: http://americancraftexpo.org/exhibitors-2012/exhbitor-list/)

BASKETRY

TRISTYN ALBRIGHT
LINDA FIFIELD
JENNIFER HELLER ZURICK
MARY JACKSON

 

CERAMICS

NATALIE BLAKE
ROBERT BRISCOE
SANDRA BYERS
WINTHROP BYERS
FONG CHOO
PAVEEN CHUNHASWASDIKUL
JUDITH DUFF
PAUL ESHELMAN
JENNIFER FALTER
NATHAN FALTER
RICK HINTZE
RAKUN JONZ
NANCY KUBALE
CLIFF LEE
ELISABETH MAURLAND
JENNIFER MCCURDY
SANDY MILLER
FRANCINE OZEREKO
JEF RAASCH
ANDY ROGERS
DANIEL ROSS
NATALYA SOTS
CANDONE WHARTON

 

EMERGING ARTIST

RAISSA BUMP
ANN CHIKAHISA
BONGSANG CHO
KEITH HOLT
ALLISON JONES
ANDREA LEBEAU
KARINA ROBARGE
ELIZABETH RUBIDGE
JOHN SHOWALTER
LYNNE TAN
 

 

FIBER DECORATIVE

ANN BRAUER
PRINCE DUNCAN-WILLIAMS
MARTHA FIEBER
JOHN GUNTHER
RENEE HARRIS
SUSAN HILL
MEG LITTLE
NATALIA MARGULIS
KELLY MARSHALL
CHRIS ROBERTS-ANTIEAU
ERIN WILSON

 

FIBER WEARABLE

TREGEA BEVAN
VERONIKA BRASLAVSKY
DEBORAH CROSS
RANDALL DARWALL
JUANITA GIRARDIN
DIANE HARTY
SALLY JONES
SANDRA MILLER
SUSAN NEAL
AMY NGUYEN
MINA NORTON
JEUNG-HWA PARK
BARBARA PERRY
K. RILEY
RENEE ROEDER-EARLEY
DAIGA HENSON & SARMITE SVILIS
LIUDMILA SHERRER
JANE SISCO
CHRIS TRIOLA
TERESA WIDUCH
MUFFY YOUNG

 

FURNITURE

ALAN DAIGRE
JORDAN GOODMAN
ROBERT HENDRICK
DEREK HENNIGAR
GREG KLASSEN
BARRY NEWSTAT
DAVID YOUNG

 

GLASS

PATRICK CASANOVA
STEPHAN COX
ALEXANDER FEKETE
SCOTT GAMBLE
ELAINE HYDE
FRED KAEMMER
JOSEPH LIMPERT
DAN MIRER
J DAVID NORTON
RICHARD PARRISH
KENNY PIEPER
JOSEPH POZYCINSKI
MICHAEL SCHUNKE
JOSH SIMPSON
JENNIFER VIOLETTE

 

JEWELRY

DAVID BACHARACH
JOANN BAUMANN
NAMU CHO
PETRA CLASS
LISA & SCOTT CYLINDER
DEVTA DOOLAN
KATHLEEN DUSTIN
LILLY FITZGERALD
PAT FLYNN
CHRISTINA GOODMAN
ROB GREENE
VALERIE HECTOR
THOMAS HERMAN
DEB KARASH
JUDITH KAUFMAN
TAI KIM
JUDITH KINGHORN
SHANA KROIZ
KEN LOEBER
TERRI LOGAN
AARON MACSAI
THOMAS MANN
GABRIEL OFIESF
SO YOUNG PARK
TODD REED
JONATHAN RUTLEDGE
BIBA SCHUTZ
BETH SOLOMON
ROBERTA AND DAVID WILLIAMSON

 

LEATHER

MICHAEL & MICHELLE LALONDE
JOHN MILLIGAN
DICK & DIANNE MULLER
TOSHIKI & MARYSZKA OSAKI
BRYAN SCHULTZ
CINDY SPOLEK

 

METAL

DAVID BACHARACH
LUKASZ & BOZENNA BOGUCKI
DARLYS EWOLDT
KEN GIRARDINI
ERICA GORDON
REBECCA HUNGERFORD
JIM MARTIN
JACK MCLEAN
JON ROUTE
MICHAEL ROUTE
WENDY STEVENS
ELAINE UNZICKER
MARY PAT WALLEN
C.T. WHITEHOUSE

 

MIXED MEDIA

MICHAEL ADCOCK
BILL DUROVCHIC
KATHLEEN DUSTIN
JAMES EATON
AMY FLYNN
ESTELLA FRANSBERGEN
JULIE GIRARDINI
GUY MICHAELS
JOEL URRUTY
GRACEANN WARN
TOM AND KATHY WEGMAN

 

WOOD

STEVE BALDWIN
DIXIE BIGGS
GALEN CARPENTER
JACK FIFIELD
MATTHEW HATALA
JANEL JACOBSON
PAUL JENSEN
DANIEL KEITH
JOHN MASCOLL
MICHAEL MODE
PETER PETROCHKO
JIM SAMS
NORM SARTORIUS
MIKE SHULER
KOJI TANAKA
 
All of us at ACE would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all artists who applied. 
 
Welcome to the wonderful world of crafts, 2012 artists!