Fobots, Found Object Robots, Upcycled and Recycled Art
I’m an avid thrift store shopper and junk collector. I often find pieces and parts that I pick up and think, ‘Man…there’s gotta be something I can do with this.’ I have a house full of this kind of thing and I’ve yet to muster the creative talent to actually make something.
I found these adorable Found Object Robots, originally on Pinterest. The creator of these detailed, creative and fun little gadgets was gracious enough to take some time to tell us more about herself and her projects. I hope you enjoy her work, and feel free to share it on Pinterest and Facebook for your friends to enjoy, too!
I asked Amy some questions and her delightful answers paint a great picture of the kind of love that goes into each one of her Found Object Robots.
Q: What is your website or where can we find your products online?
A: I make robots out of vintage stuff–I call them “Fobots”, short for Found Object Robots. I only sell them at art festivals and, when the art fair season is over, online at www.ifobot.com starting in mid November.
Q: How did you get started making or selling these products?
A: I was an illustrator for 27 years, and when the economy started to tank in 2008, all my freelance work began drying up. I was going crazy. But I’d started making these quirky little robots out of junk from my basement and the flea market, and I found that I really enjoyed it. My wonderful husband, seeing how upset I was watching all my clients go bankrupt or cancel projects, said “Why don’t you take a few weeks off from the illustration and just go make some more robots? You’re so much happier when you’re making robots!” I did, and when I’d gathered about a dozen I showed them to a friend who owns a craft gallery and he asked me why the hell wasn’t I selling them? So I started out selling at a wholesale show, and then got up the nerve to try big outdoor art festivals. It can be scary at times–Mother Nature is not our friend–but it was the right way to go.
Q: What kind of arts and crafts inspire you the most?
A: I love the whole steampunk movement–if you have to ask, look it up on Google Images–it’s hard to describe. My stepson says that Steampunk is what happened when Goths discovered the color brown. My Fobots aren’t truly steampunk, they’re mostly more whimsical, and the parts I use are mainly from the 1920’s through 50’s as opposed to Victorian, but it does inspire me.
Q: What is/was your favorite artistic project to work on or create?
A: My favorites are the ones that I make for people I know, where I can incorporate bits and pieces that have meaning to them and tell the story of their lives. I just finished one for friends whose cat had just died, so I made them a cat Fobot that also incorporated their love of cooking, travel, wine, steampunk, sewing, and Halloween.
Q: What type of art or crafts do you most wish you could learn how to do?
A: I’d love to learn how to blow glass–it’s so sexy and dangerous.
Q: Where can we find your Pinterest page?
A: I don’t have a Pinterest page (there just aren’t enough hours in the day for a timesuck like that!), but I enjoy looking at other people’s pages. At first, I didn’t understand what all these hits on my website were that were links from Pinterest, but now I get it and it’s fantastic. I don’t have to publicize my work on Pinterest–hundreds of people are doing it for me–thanks! I do have a Facebook page for the Fobots though, and that and the blog are enough to keep up with.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about your business or products?
A: Not to sound ungrateful, but don’t send me parts! People are always trying to send me parts, and it’s almost never anything I can use and then I feel bad. I’m unbelievably picky about what I use, and I really do enjoy looking for materials by myself or with my husband. I like to tell people that my work combines my two favorite things–making art and shopping.
Check out (S)old Favorites in the iFobots.com Gallery and watch for new, upcoming items on the website.