I design and make jewelry, assemblage art and"The Camera Crew"
characters using mainly the interior parts from vintage film cameras.
It all started many years ago when an acquaintance accidentally dropped his
camera into the Atlantic Ocean. He knew immediately that it was ruined and
worthless. So, knowing that I was a photographer he asked me if I had any
use for it. Absolutely, and I then proceeded to take it apart not having to worry
about putting it back together ! I regret not keeping a record of that camera
as it was the beginning of my discovery of all the amazingly complex and
interesting parts that makes a camera work. This was one of the many roll film cameras that made photography possible for hundreds of thousands of people for many generations.
At first the old cameras could only be found at flea markets and some garage
sales. But today, thanks to the internet, millions of unwanted cameras can be
easily found in various states of dis-repair and some still in mint condition.
These are not rare collector-quality cameras, but the "Fords and Chevy's" of
the vintage camera world. I have used a: Brownie Hawkeye, Canon FTB, Minolta SRT101, Polaroid Land Cameras, Argus C3, Kodak Pony, Autographic, Signet 35 and a Baby Brownie Special to name a few.
When I find a good camera, the first task is to disassemble it. This is not always easy to do, but it does eventually all come apart revealing a myriad of metal gears, springs, screws, flat rings of all sizes, shutter blades, mirrors, lenses, knobs, levers, dials, bearings, prisms, glass, leather, spools and plates. The newer cameras have plastic and electronic parts which I don't use. I have accumulated many parts which requires them to be very well organized.
The process of designing and assembling the finished pieces can take a long time when trying to find the right combination of parts. Each part is then cleaned as well as possible but some wear and tear may still be seen. I use parts "as is" without any alteration except if a sharp edge needs to softened or to remove a small tab. The parts are then glued together because the different types of materials prevent the use of soldering or welding. They are all unique, one-of-a-kind and made by hand.
Thank you and questions or comments are always welcome.