Embracing the Grit

rustI’ll admit right away that I have been quite biased towards wood. Building, refinishing, repairing, and beautifying wood has been my artful pastime for many years now. However, metal runs deep with my family lineage of steel workers, machinists, and builders, yet I rejected it as dirty, dangerous, and rough. While it IS all of those things, I am now embracing the grit and seeing the joys of metal. For me, it was coming home. Besides working in my literal home state of Ohio this summer, I recognized the smells of burning steel, the dirt, and the intense sweaty, grungy heat emanating from this place. I thought often of my Father long ago, coming home from work with black hands and curled metal chips embedded into the souls of his heavy, black work boots.

Of course my Father didn’t work for a creative master who admits he hails from the planet “Ooob” and plays The Orb remixed by Lee Scratch Perry on the sound system. In fact, an artist like myself would not have been welcome into my father’s production steel shop where parts for the industrial/military complex were produced. But there I was, part of the assembly line for Doug Meyer’s Rustbelt Rebirth creations.  Offering me an opportunity to be a part of his East Coast Showcase booth at Brimfield, he created artful frames for my oil paintings that matched his fantastic, industrial furniture. Using recycled scrap metal, he and the crew fabricate his art deco inspired designs that fit into a beautifully modern and artful home, office or studio.

"Sea horse" oil 24x18" framed in upcycled chocolate brown with a rolling serving cart inspired by travelling trains of the past.
“Sea horse” oil 24×18″ by Yabette framed in upcycled chocolate brown metal with a rolling serving cart of the traveler’s train era inspiration by Doug Meyer.

Continue reading

Swankety Swank Showcase: Lock & Key Nightstands

black steampunk nightstand lock detail

These matching sturdy wood tables are part of furniture artist and Swankety Swank owner Yabette’s ongoing Steampunk Collection. They feature a hand-painted Victorian-inspired lock and key in detailed hues of brown on its newly refinished black surface. Both rustic and attractive, masculine or feminine, they have practical drawers and shelves with their original pulls. This signed art set would be a lovely addition to an eclectic modern, artfully traditional or bohemian decor.  Dimensions: 20″H x 15″W x 24″D

The above artwork references a very specific type of lock known as a “story padlock.”  These locks contain imagery relating to a theme or narrative, giving them a unique quality among other locks.  The antique Victorian padlock featured by Yabette is based on a 3-dimensional Werewolf lock manufactured in Trenton, New Jersey, circa 1880. Continue reading

Swankety Swank Showcase: Gray Branch Chair


Swankety Swank Showcase: Gray Branch Chair

The Gray Branch Chair

Swankety Swank Showcase presents the Gray Branch Chair! This sturdy, aged farmhouse style chair has a great wood structure. It has been newly refinished and clear coated in gray on its gorgeous wood frame. It features a hand painted white branch bringing a modern flair to this retro chair. This signed art piece would be a lovely addition to a colorful bohemian, artfully traditional, or modern pop decor.  Continue reading

Swankety Swank Showcase: Snake Cabinet

Swankety Swank Showcase: Snake Cabinet

The Snake Cabinet

Swankety Swank Showcase presents the Snake Cabinet! This wood side table, nightstand or media cabinet has been recently refinished on the top with a slightly distressed, warm red color wash which allows the original wood grain to show. It features a hand painted snake with flowers in hues of gray, black and red over graphic color wash red stripes. The inside has 3 shelves with color washed wood knobs. This signed art piece would be a fantastic addition to an artfully traditional, colorful modern or bohemian decor.
Dimensions: 26″H x 41″W x 26″D  Continue reading

Swankety Swank Showcase: Twilight Tree Dresser

Swankety Swank Showcase: Twilight Tree Dresser (detail)

The Twilight Tree Dresser

Swankety Swank Showcase presents the Twilight Tree Dresser!  This aged, sturdy wood dresser has been newly transformed with a hand painted tree in crackle cream with shimmery gold leaves. The top has been refinished in black on its rustic surface. It features dove-tailed drawers, original handles, protective clear coat on its aged mottled surface. This signed art piece would be a lovely addition to a eclectic modern, artfully traditional or bohemian decor.
Dimensions: 36″H x 39″W x 17″D Continue reading

Swankety Swank Showcase: Black Jellyfish Table

black jellyfish table

The Black Jellyfish Table

Swankety Swank Showcase proudly presents the Black Jellyfish Table!  This enchanting piece of all wood art furniture measures 26″ H x 28″ W x 28″ D and was cleaned, sanded, refinished, hand painted and clear coated with earth friendly, low VOC paints by Yabette!  The overall square shape of this table is indented with graceful curves, framing the hand-painted jellyfish beautifully!  The sea creature is positively bursting with a near luminescent light and the mass of tendrils invite the eye to examine the design again and again.   Continue reading

Swankety Swank Showcase: Moroccan Moth Table

Moroccan Moth Table

The Moroccan Moth Table

Swankety Swank Showcase presents the Moroccan Moth Table!  This delightful piece of all wood art furniture measures 19.5″ x 19.5″ x 19.5″ and was cleaned, sanded, refinished, hand painted and clear coated with earth friendly, low VOC paints.  Note the intricate detailing on the sides of the table and on the legs (scroll down for a closeup view).  The hexagonal shape gives this piece a unique flair.   The delicate image of the moth was hand-painted by Yabette.  Compliment your home decor with this precious treasure! Continue reading