Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Meet The Maker - Remnants by RJ on World Robot Domination

Meet Rebecca of Remnants by RJ.  Rebecca makes some fantastically cute robots out of various recycled items.  Each one is very creative and some are even quite useful!  Let’s hear what she has to say…

Background -
I was born in Olathe, KS and have lived in the Kansas City area most of my life. I did venture away for college (attending Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma) and lived a few years in Houston, TX after college, but came back home to put down roots. Where else would I want to raise a family?

Finding the Handmade in Kansas City community a couple of years ago has helped me connect with other great artists and makers in the area. It’s so rewarding to be a part of a group of people that “get” you.

Original career plan -
As an English/Creative Writing student in college, I had no plans of ever doing anything in art. I simply wanted to write. Fast forward 10 years, a few administrative/marketing jobs later, and a small pack of children—and I found myself interested in mosaics. I’d seen a beautiful outdoor mosaic “table” (broken pottery on a large landscape rock) at a friend’s wedding and felt inspired to try it. It wasn’t long into my mosaic foray before I started incorporating found objects and other unusual materials. That naturally led into the thought of making sculptures—you know, playing with found objects without the hassle of grout. I was hooked.
Making recycled robots was a perfect fit for me. I love all things metal. I really love my drill press. And I love transforming discarded bits of life into characters with a personality and story (that’s where my writing background comes in). As I’ve grown and established my business, I’ve become passionate about using recycled materials almost exclusively and about promoting creativity. I love connecting with people and helping change the way they see the world.

You can find this adorable Geek Bot in Rebecca's Etsy Store.  

Creative process -
Remnants by RJ is simply that—a collection of society’s cast off “remnants” I transform into fun, quirky pieces of art. I see robot heads, arms, legs everywhere I go. It’s a change in perspective when you think about what something could be, instead of what it just is.
I collect materials primarily from flea markets, antique stores, and secondhand online sites. If it’s metal, I’m interested. Usually, I start with one central piece and a spark of an idea. Through trial and error assimilation, I find the pieces that go together to make just the right bot. I like to think of my work as a robot that was disassembled somewhere along the way, and I’m bringing the pieces back together so it can be the robot it was always meant to be.

This is Walt, the rescued Robot clock.  If you've fallen in love, you can buy him here.

Hardest lesson learned -
The hardest lesson for me has been believing in myself. Not everyone is going to get me, and that’s okay. I‘m learning to have confidence in my art and be fine with who I am. I make robots, and I love it.

Star Wars Inspired Bitty Bots.  They are available for adoption here.  

What are you currently working on in the studio?
I’m always working on different robots in my workshop. I usually have 2-3 in various stages of completion as I settle on just the right fit. I’m also working on one of my biggest projects yet—a dragon. His body is a cool vintage doll suitcase that will be covered with penny “scales.” I found a large aluminum bendy-pipe-thing in a ReStore shop (Habitat for Humanity store), and it is going to become a fantastic tail. I’m also contemplating umbrella wings so they can fold and unfold. It’s going to be epic . . . when it all comes together.

Hopes/dreams/future plans?
It’s simple. World Robot Domination.

Light up the night with this Airplane Night Light.  You can find it for sale here.

Wondering where you can find Rebecca?

Remnants by RJ
Rebecca Jackson
Instagram:   RemnantsbyRJ
Twitter:       RemnantsbyRJ


Thank you to Tania from Ivory Isis for putting this blog post together.  

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