I make functional art – art that is designed to get wet.
Not the functional art of a chair designed to rest comfortably in a living room and not the precious commodity of stainless silverware on a dining room table, but functional art that rides the waves and carries a passenger - a surfboard. And as a designer and an artist I feel the need to make this art have meaning, aesthetic beauty and sustainability.
My surfboards are constructed using sustainable materials and methods; wood and recycled foam.
Currently the beaches we all love to visit are being plagued with trash; trash that washes up onto the shores from massive drifts of debris in the ocean.
Inspired by the beauty of nature and the large amounts of man-made debris in the oceans I am embarking on a series of surfboards that reclaim trash that washes up onto the shore. It is a dichotomy between the natural and unnatural. Natural materials form my surfboards; conversely, fragments of man-made debris such as plastic and glass are recycled and reused in the skin of the surfboard. Plastic bags woven into a strengthening cloth, plastic bottles cut up and reassembled into fins, and many other possibilities to be explored.
There are many surfboards that are purely functional; disposable plain white foam boards. Surfers are traditionally active in the protection of oceans and environments yet they have historically used a product that is highly toxic and creates a large amount of liquid and solid waste; in a foam board with a wooden stringer only 3-4% is renewable material.
My surfboards are to be viewed as both functional and fine art that emphasize Green design and sustainable construction while maintaining a high performance standard. The surfboards I shape do not wear out like conventional foam boards; they last ten times as long without any reduction in performance over time.
The atmosphere in which my surfboards are viewed changes the way they are seen. When in the water, my surfboards are functional objects, but when on the wall of a gallery they transcend into fine art.
The title of my company ‘Spirare’ is the Latin root of spirit- to breathe, breath, the breath of life, the soul. I hope to breathe new life into surfboard design and help surfing regain its soul. Surfing has a soulful dance like quality of performance art; we need to work to prevent the stage from being destroyed.
I plan to produce a series surfboards to be shown publically in galleries around the country. I will also keep a blog about the progression of the surfboards and the reclaimation of debris and its transformation into art. After the initial series of boards is complete and available for viewing I will produce a limited run of 100 hand shaped, signed, and numbered reclaimed trash surfboards for custom orders. Backers of the project will receive priority status for any surfboard order.
To learn more about my surfboards and how they are made please visit my website at: www.SpirareSurfboards.com
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