Arts Kinetic: Deconstructing to Construct

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It’s called “Arts Kinetic” the name behind the man who spends hours at his gallery Uptown creating jewelry out of scraps. Vanessa Bolano explains.

To most it’s stuff, but to Forrest Bacigalupi it is treasure. They are bits and pieces that like a mad scientist he uses to create his masterpiece.

“Wow, I aspire to be a mad scientist so if that’s what you draw from it it’s great. I make jewelry and I don’t do really traditional work,” says Bacigalupi, “But a lot of my jewelry is materials that are familiar, every day materials that are taken and transitioned and turned into something completely new and different so that they are not immediately recognizable.”

Forrest deconstructs in order to construct. He takes apart old, worn out, broken objects to make something new.

It started five years ago. Forrest was doing everything from real estate to teaching, but his life changed when he inherited his grandmother’s broken watch. It was too expensive to fix so he took it apart, made jewelry, and the rest is history.

“I use tons of found objects, so vintage jewelry that I might pull apart and bring up to date, modify, transform; watches I’m always fascinated with,” says Bacigalupi, “So many people have some family members watch sitting in a drawer, broken or not, but perhaps just hanging out there and you run across it every once in a while and that’s great, but it’s really cool to be able to take it, turn it into something, transform it and make a piece that’s wearable, that somebody can bring out and appreciate on a regular basis that still has that sentimental connection.”

Forrest gets most of his watches from customers and jewelry stores around town that send him broken ones. Monday through Friday he’s like a mad scientist working at his folk art gallery on Oak Street Uptown, while his weekends are spent visiting art markets and showing off what he’s made.

“It is a little labor intensive, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Highwater Gallery is the name of Forrest’s gallery on Oak Street. His pieces range in price from $28 to $185.