The cover artist for our health issue is automotive mechanic and part-time welder Nick Marshall. Marshall chose smooth pulleys and gears with teeth to show the complexities in our brain. He says, “I used all different materials to show how complex the human brain is and show so much happening inside it, so much still learning.”
The piece took the better part of a day to make, with Marshall using gears from a box that had been sitting around for two years. Marshall, who has been a mechanic for around 10 years, does not classify his makings as art per se, but as constructively useful creations. Pinterest helped inspire him to take unused parts lying around his work and scrap yards and repurpose it.
Giving parts a second chance to be useful is a main reason Marshall loves creating so much. He says, “Giving an old engine or car part a new life, instead of it getting thrown to a junkyard, is very gratifying. I don’t hold onto everything but I hold onto anything I think could be made into something else or given another life.”
According to Marshall, tools hold a lot of memories, as he recounts fond moments spent with his grandfather working on projects growing up. This lends inspiration for some of the pieces he makes today. While taking commissions only sporadically, one of his favorite types of commission is when a customer comes to him with tools of a recently deceased family member. Marshall will take the tools and create a lasting creation for the family to remember their relative by.
Marshall does sporadic commissions and occasional maker’s markets. Reach out to Marshall on his Instagram @nicks_knacks_ne to see previous projects or to get an upcycled piece of your own!