For my upscaling project there are two routes I am exploring; one that is set in stone and another that is in the works. As of writing this I am still undecided. Hence, “Up in the Air”.

The one that is set in stone (and what I will be doing if the other project falls through) lands under the umbrella of what’s known as the “fusion” aesthetic. Fusion aesthetic combines traditional and contemporary art. For example, this project is a piece of Targé (Target) pottery that I found in my alley many years ago. Someone had abandoned it but cared enough about it to not smash it and I’ve been holding onto it ever since. It’s white and has blue murals painted on it, imitating fine china. The vase is relatively large in size, with a base that stands about 12-13″ tall, 6-7″ in diameter at the widest point and a lid that extends upwards another 2-3″. My plan is to separate the base from the lid and create a housing that holds a bluetooth speaker and lighting array, internally. This will involve ensuring a gap of 2″ is produced by the housing (between the lid and the base) in order to generate the optimal acoustic shape for the soundwaves as they emerge from the body. The lighting array will be tucked up in the lid as part of the housing that contains the bluetooth speaker. In practice, these lights will produce a futuristic glow that casts from the “floating” lid down upon the surrounding body of the vase. Simultaneously, the rumbles and roars of a thunderstorm bellow from the belly of the vase, emitted by the bluetooth speaker. Why do this project? – Because it’s awesome –

On a serious note, I want to do this project because it will give life to something that has been collecting dust. In my opinion, the vase has become too sentimental to throw away, especially considering I already gave it another chance at life by deciding to keep it in the first place. So, making it into an art piece will be very rewarding for me. I also believe that the integration of the lights and sounds will create an experience that I look forward to enjoying in my home.

The second project (the “one not set in stone”)  involves the restaurant I currently work at. The owner mentioned that he’d been considering changing the logo of the restaurant and I offered to help him design it. How this relates to upcycling is that he has a physical installation of the restaurant logo on the front of the restaurant, very prominently, that would require redesigning if we end up changing the logo. I would most likely make it out of welded scrap metal or reclaimed wood. Just as with the status of the project, the aesthic has also yet to be finalized. However, I do have a good idea on what the aesthetic may include inspiration from: minimalist, natural, zen and elegance aesthetics. The sign is about 2-3′ wide and 1.5′ tall, currently, so I’d expect that the new sign will follow similar sizing. It’s not flat though, as it needs to stand on its own in the display window, so that will also be determined when (or if) the owner decides to move forward with it. I am waiting to hear back any minute.

(Sidenote: In return for my services, I have requested one free cheeseburger a day for life. Wish me luck.)

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ethan Silverman
    February 19, 2024 5:15 pm

    What’s up Kelso, I’m really liking your ideas for this project. I’m super into that vase and its design already so that becoming a speaker would be sick. I’m really curious on how the vase will affect sound quality. On the other hand, the logo sign project would be a really creative and cool process. Knowing you and your interest in graphics, I think you would do a really good job with the design aspect. I think the sign portion would also be fun to try to get working.

  • John Bileschi
    February 1, 2024 8:55 am

    Hey Kelso, I believe you have two solid ideas for your upcycled project. Personally, I think modifying the vase into a speaker would be really cool. I believe you would be able to acquire a blue tooth speaker relatively easy along with some cool lights that could potentially change according to the music. If you do decide to go with this project feel free to reach out as I would be happy to help with the lighting aspects of this project.


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