Cocktail Twist!
Twisted Assemblage Art - About Drinking, Politics, Religion, More
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Great News! Just got juried into a St. Paul Art Show, “With the Grain”. The 15 artists in the show are focusing on wood, so I will be making a piece with driftwood. Also check Facebook for more details.

Seeking Any Brain Activity From Trump Supporters

Seeking Any Brain Activity From Trump Supporters

Monogram Palm Springs

Monogram Palm Springs

Richard Rauschenberg’s Monogram (1955–59) is one of the most important Assemblages in art history. Rauschenberg found a stuffed goat in a secondhand store in NY and combined it with a tire and painting to form what he called a Combine. My I’m-not-worthy piece is a ceramic big horn sheep with a pool noodle, and is ‘trans-species’ with one cow horn.

A popular Santa in Drag from the show at the Palm Springs Art Museum

A popular Santa in Drag from the show at the Palm Springs Art Museum

Barbie Asked Ken to Put Some Big Rubber on Her Ride

Barbie Asked Ken to Put Some Big Rubber on Her Ride

Crosshatch

Crosshatch

Bugs Up North

Bugs Up North

Orange Goes Blue

Orange Goes Blue

Barbie’s in Pussy Hats celebrating conservative Orange County going Blue in the 2018 election.

Derailed

Derailed

From my “Tracks” Series, using discarded children’s wooden train tracks

How'd You Shoot Today?

How'd You Shoot Today?

18 new leather golf gloves make a statement about the frustrations of mastering the art of golf.

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven

Chandelier of Shoes

Chandelier of Shoes

Trump's Circus of Dead Clowns

Trump's Circus of Dead Clowns

Yes, he’s put a bullet hole in more cabinet members than you can count on two hands.

Barbie's Blue Wave Martini Party, Nov 7

Barbie's Blue Wave Martini Party, Nov 7

True Religion, An Assemblage

True Religion, An Assemblage

Pearl

Pearl

Pearl

Pearl

She is atop an actual Sawtooth Shark’s bill.

Homage to  Dalí

Homage to Dalí

Homage to Dali #2

Homage to Dali #2

Wood Assemblage

Wood Assemblage

Atomic Age Design Screen

Atomic Age Design Screen

Tracks, a wall hanging

Tracks, a wall hanging

Flag #3

Flag #3

Indulge in Cocktails!

Indulge in Cocktails!

Barbie's Synchronized Dive Team (a lamp)

Barbie's Synchronized Dive Team (a lamp)

Steampunk Robot Bartender

Steampunk Robot Bartender

Homage to Jasper John's Flag Pieces

Homage to Jasper John's Flag Pieces

Steampunk Beating Heart

Steampunk Beating Heart

Flamenco Man

Flamenco Man

Barbie's Synchronized Swim Team

Barbie's Synchronized Swim Team

Measuring Brain Activity in Trump Supporters

Measuring Brain Activity in Trump Supporters

Barbie's War on Christmas

Barbie's War on Christmas

Barbie Steps In for Santa

Barbie Steps In for Santa

Me at the St. Paul Art Crawl

Me at the St. Paul Art Crawl

My Assemblage in a customer's home in Chicago

My Assemblage in a customer's home in Chicago

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My Assemblage, a homage to Frank Lloyd Wright, in a customer's home in California

My Assemblage, a homage to Frank Lloyd Wright, in a customer's home in California

Cars

Cars

Homage to Lousie Nevelson

Homage to Lousie Nevelson

Modernism Assemblages from last season in Palm Springs

Modernism Assemblages from last season in Palm Springs

Among the Modernism assemblages at our show was this homage to Ray and Charles Eames pioneering work with molded plywood. We mounted this chair sideways to accentuate the curved shape.

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Flip, from our Stax Bars Collection

Flip, from our Stax Bars Collection

Side tables are the most common mid-century furniture pieces we find at thrift stores for Thrift Bars. Here are two beautiful solid oak pieces that were $3.50 each. We flipped one upside down on the other and added a glass top for a bar with two drawers and shelves. A hidden rear hinge connects the two, meaning you can flip the top one down to make a nice small buffet table.

Tequila Nightmares

Tequila Nightmares

A Cocktail Arts Assemblage imagining your fitful night of nightmares when you've had too many shots of TA-KILL-YA.

Drift (sold)

Drift (sold)

Videographer Albert Maruggi dropped by the studio to see the new Cocktail Arts assemblages. Here is his snapshot of the amazing Drift Cocktail Bar. It is an all driftwood thrift store find. I've mounted it to a steel base to boost it to bar height. It also now is lit from inside to show off its 'bones'. It will be installed at HYGGA Lowertown, the new St. Paul MN bar and restaurant. Kim Garretson

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The Big One (sold)

The Big One (sold)

A bar that's a fishing boat. Powered by a 1923 Ole Evinrude outboard motor at the end of the bar, it appears to be chasing The Big One, a 50-inch fiberglass fish. The Big One will soon be installed at a Northern Minnesota cabin.

Cowboy Cocktails

Cowboy Cocktails

Signature Cocktails are a feature of many home parties today. In this case a vintage rolling metal wagon train wagon holds the stuff for making the Old Fashioned. High West Rye Whiskey, Angostura Bitters, sugar cubes, and buckhorn barware. Use it as a tabletop bar station.

Replace these with the items for your own signature cocktails, and keep the Western theme if desired.

Sew What

Sew What

A sewing cabinet from the 50's with a rich walnut case and iconic mid-century legs. The drop leaf forms a bar table, and the cutout for the sewing machine now holds an ice bucket. On the right side, a slide out shelf for the sewing machine now slides out the liquor bottles. Two drawers on the left hold glassware and barware.

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Purple

Purple

Our homage to Prince. The large metal wine rack base has a shape that hints at Prince's glyph. The bar top is a large ceiling lighting fixture flipped over so the purple neon bathes the base.

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If Caesar had invented cocktails rather than a salad

If Caesar had invented cocktails rather than a salad

A wall hanging Thrift Bars assemblage. An authentic circa 1600 engraving from Antwerp was 25 cents at a thrift store, and has a $140 price tag from the Palm Springs printseller. This was one of 265 prints donated to the store. We imagine the printseller died and his heirs dumped the items.

Of course, Julius did not invent the salad, but if he had invented cocktails, perhaps the beheadings would have been tempered by the warm glow of sharing cocktails with your enemies.

The engraving was not altered in this assemblage. If you’d like it unadorned, just remove it from the frame and reframe it.

Pieces & Parts:

Under $8

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We don't want your crap

We don't want your crap

Recent headlines:

Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents' treasures - The Washington Post

Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents' Stuff - Forbes

Boomers often rebuffed when passing down heirlooms - USA Today

Another Thrift Bars assemblage. Thrift Stores sell what obviously are whole-family collections of souvenir shot glass and demitasse spoons in large plastic bags for as little as three dollars. Sad when you think about it. But a bonus for our assemblage to make the point that we spend ⅔ of our lives acquiring crap, and ⅓ getting rid of it. The average American home contains 300,000 items.

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Op-Bar

Op-Bar

The early 70's were the Op-Art heyday. This 1973 mirrored op art piece for the Greg Copeland Studios forms a great mirrored bar top. The piece is signed by Romanian artist Ruta Dremanjis, who also was the art director for the famous mid-century furniture designer Milo Baughmann. The multi-mirror piece in the base is from Crate & Barrel. 

Eyes On You

Eyes On You

A Thrift Bar in the works. Dozens of vintage camera lenses will be topped with glass, and the bar will have a pedestal base featuring vintage camera flashes.

Rings Around

Rings Around

A beautiful granite bar top sits atop columns of steel. A dramatic Arabic globe with moving rings towers above the bar.

Golf Nut

Golf Nut

This Thrift Bar just landed in its new home, a real Golf Nut. It's a beautiful hardwood billiards cabinet, now raised to bar height with IKEA table legs. Vintage golf drivers replace billiard cues, and the wall sign hanging above the bar is an assemblage created from golf tournament award. The cabinet holds plenty of booze and glassware.

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Chip Scarborough

Chip Scarborough

Artist Chip Scarborough tossed a coin in 1965. Heads, the Colorado School of Mines. Tails, Art School. Today, he works with small glass pieces (see recent eBay listings for some of these pieces). He also creates large Mixed Media pieces. These metal sculptures probably date to the 90’s.

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Birdcase

Birdcase

A large beautiful new acrylic birdcage on a rolling hardwood base with shelves for storing booze and glassware. This brand new item was $20 at Goodwill, while similar ones cost up to $700. With backlighting, and perhaps a mirror, your liquor bottle display can have the look of the backbar at your favorite watering hole.

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The Flip

The Flip

A fun furniture hack. These two solid-oak Mid-Century night tables were $3.50 each at Goodwill. One is flipped to rest atop the other, forming a tall Thrift Bar with a glass top. A piano hinge connects the two tables so you can lower the top one, with the two of them back-to-back, forming a buffet bar table.

Tango

Tango

This dancing couple, signed by artist Jon Gilmore, gets a glass top for the bar, and a stainless steel table under it.

Tracks #3

Tracks #3

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Horsin' Around

Horsin' Around

Sometimes Thrift Store finds come with stories. In this case, at Salvation Army, the beautiful box and its inserts had a note taped to the bottom. It said the family had worked together to handcraft a Tack Trunk for their plans to get a horse. But alas, they never got the horse, and they hoped someone would enjoy the trunk. The cost was $9.

At Etsy, similar trunks sell for around $1,000.

I turned the trunk on its side atop a sturdy kid’s play table with MCM like legs. The lid and inserts are now atop the trunk, and shelves and lighting inside the trunk will highlight the liquour bottles, wine and glassware.

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The Big Bowl

The Big Bowl

A beautiful large metal bowl sits atop an aquarium base. A circular glass tray inside the bowl forms the bar top.

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Two Shots of Chartreuse

Two Shots of Chartreuse

Some assemblages are created with a story in mind. In this case, "Aunt Ethel told everyone she was a teetotaler, but her secret, held secure in her memories, was that she always slipped two shots of Chartreuse into her morning coffee.

We should have picked up the clues. All her glassware was chartreuse colored, and every morning she smelled like peppermint.

In later life, she admitted to her sin of drink to a favorite grandchild, but was quick to justify it with the story of the Carthusian Monks who first distilled the drink in 1737 from a 1605 recipe calling for 130 herbs, plants and flowers. And Ethel was a lifelong devout Catholic."

Pieces & Parts:

Under $45

About the Assemblage: The rolling base was a base for medical equipment and includes a drawer for barware. The new mirrored top is from Pier One with a $150 retail price. The glassware and metal chest are from Goodwill, and the hands were mannequin parts found curbside.

1940's Italian Hollywood Regency Design Bar Cart

1940's Italian Hollywood Regency Design Bar Cart

This beautiful vintage metal bar cart was $16 at Goodwill. You can find similar ones for sale at sites like Charish and 1st Dibs for $1,400 to $2,300.

Weaponized

Weaponized

It's not surprising some barware, especially corkscrews, are designed to look like people. This wall collage goes one further and turns fold-up corkscrews into canine companions for the warriors with their glass swizzle stick weapons.

Lion's Club

Lion's Club

A Thrift Bar Assemblage that imagines interactions and conversations at any neighborhood Lion’s Club bar. (The circular bar within can also be functionally used as a bar, if desired).

President Dave bores those bellied up to the bar, pointing to the 10 new pins on his vest he acquired at the annual meeting in New Orleans. He has a story for each, including about the southern belle pictured on the Mississippi pin.

That triggers Frank to once again roll eyes with his description of his high school girlfriend’s legs when she emerged from their skinny dipping in the lake.

Pieces & Parts:

About $28

Stephen White Art (1978)

Stephen White Art (1978)

Furniture Hacking includes turning some objects into new uses. In this case, wall art becomes a bar tabletop. Because bars get lighter use than dining tables, the glass and poly covers of these wall art pieces are strong enough for bar table use.

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Shabby Chic Bar

Shabby Chic Bar

The Domino Effect

The Domino Effect

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Circular Tracks

Circular Tracks

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Stacked

Stacked

Spores

Spores