THREE YEAR INSTALLATION
by Roy Mackey
This project was one of the largest I have ever undertaken so far. Though it is still evolving it has to date taken just under three years to get this far. It was an intensive project that involved a lot of time learning and patience. Yet most people walking into my studio would not see it sitting right in front of them I say most because I was surprised to see how many people did see it. The fact that it was so obvious is what made it so hard to see. What is this installation I am talking about? Well it is the recreation of my fathers old garage except how I wished it was back then and not really how it was. As a child I was obsessed with his garage. I lived in there exploring through all the junk he had in there and new stuff he was always packing home. We lived on a small farm, so to speak. Not much around us except for one old B/A Service station up the highway a quarter mile or so. A few acres wedged between the mountains and highway 95/93. Not much to do back then other than shooting squirrels or rolling rocks on the mountain. Dad's garage was my only creative relief. The trouble was he never had much for tools or supplies for that matter. Lots of junk to pull apart though. He also had lots of Popular Mechanic's magazines though and I would pour through those like no tomorrow drooling over all the tools and fun projects that could be made.
When I first set up studio here I had bought all brand new tools, Mostly were mostly plastic and standard run of the mill tools sold at the local cheapo import tool places. Sure they were supposedly good brand name tools but were soul-less and robotically made to break down as soon as it could without causing customer outrage. I had a lot of them from drill press to you name it. I never noticed that anything was wrong right off until I started noticing my air compressor was not keeping up to my cnc machine. Thus I decided I would have to buy a bigger one. That was a thousand dollar bill that I did not have to spend on a compressor that I did not reeeallly need. Thus I thought I could maybe take a chance on an older one. Well before long I found an old beast on craigslist for $250. I opted to take a chance and lugged the very heavy brute home. Two weeks later after a little tinkering I discovered it was 1948. I did not think it was that old and was a little nervous. Eventually though I got it all tweaked and ready to go. I sparked it up and could not believe it. The sweetest most soothing sound ever. Like a mothers heart beat to a new born baby. Eventually I went on to discover it was one of be best things I ever bought. It was like waking from a bad dream to a sunny warm day. I thus went on to buy other old tools and the same thing. Remarkable improvements beyond compare. I was hooked and eventually replaced all my NEW tools with VINTAGE tools.
It was an incredible transformation in both the feel and vibe of the studio. The more I packed home the more it sparked up feelings of my Dad's garage. Pretty soon I was hell bent to get rid of everything new and replace it with old vintage tools that actually worked. It quickly turned into an obsession that included changing everything from my drill presses right down to my metal scribes. Almost every tool in here now