artLab, life & times of kerry Quade., studio notes.


I don’t remember exactly how or when it was I learned about the art-o-mat but it was instant love.  However, I do remember cigarette machines actually vending cigarettes.  There was one in the first bar I worked at in Salem, Massachusetts.  I was never a smoker but for some reason I was enamored with the cigarette machine… the style of it, the way it worked, & the sound of the packs of smokes falling. ker-PLUNK!

I have admired the art-o-mat from afar for some time and only about a year ago made my first purchase.  On a visit to Seattle for Jean Louise’s birthday one of our adventures was to find an art-o-mat machine… we did & had so much fun making our selections that we forgot to document the experience!  We chose a selection for each other instead of ourselves…I got earrings out of the deal, pretty sweet!

My second art-o-mat purchase was in art-o-mat’s home city Winston- Salem, NC.  I took mama Q. on an afternoon art adventure. One of our stops was to Urban Artware downtown ( r.i.p. i miss that gallery ) where mama Q. made her first art-o-mat purchase!  I did make sure to document the experience and we had loads of laughs as we made several selections.  My fave of the day?  A pewter cast saltine cracker. really!

Since then I’ve visited a few art-o-mat machines, made purchases for myself and for gifts.  I find everything about these experiences inspiring… the concept, the experience itself, the art selections, finding out about the artists and learning about their work beyond their miniature creations.  I’ve wondered what I could make that would work in this format and be something that I would want to select if I were making an art-o-mat purchase and then it hit me!  Boutonniere in a Box. yup. I said it. I created a prototype, submitted it… & they loved it!

Coming soon to an art-o-mat machine somewhere in the world… kerry Quade’s boutonniere in a box.  don’t be caught without one!

stay tuned for a follow up post and photos about the making of the boutonniere in a box… in the meantime enjoy these photos of  mama Quade’s first art-o-mat experience and some of the art-o-mat purchases in my collection!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.