Rob Gorrell - Folk Artist

Get your lanterns now. It will be dark soon.

rusty tin

Tramp Art Church Cupboard with Round Top finished.

Folk Art, Painted Folk Art, Tramp Art, UncategorizedRob Gorrell1 Comment

Yesterday I finished making this tramp art cupboard.  I have been working on it for a while now and am glad that it is finally finished. I have a ton of other projects I am itching to get to.

I was inspired by the cathedrals and churches of Paris to make this table-top cupboard. I am fascinated by the interplay of eternity and decay in the old churches, the rusting of roofs and railings, the souring Gothic arches, the massive strength of the Romanesque vaulting, and the way things sparkle out of the shadows. I love the way builders kept updating styles and forms alongside the old, allowing the old and new to coexist.  There are some earlier posts that show some of the techniques used to build this piece.

This cupboard is made from salvage pine, and old crate, beer caps, rusted roof tin, tacks, salvaged furniture elements, and lots of paint. The cupboard is 21 inches wide, 35 inches tall and 7 inches deep.  It is currently listed in my Etsy store for sale.

Here are some other shots of the piece:

>Hidden Tramp Art Tin Cupboard

Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment


For a while now I have been playing with the idea of surprise, the finding of the unexpected, the light under a bushel theme. I wanted to design and create a tramp art piece that did not look like a tramp art creation at first glance.

The design came to me as I was working on the church box that I posted a while back. I decided to hide the tramp art in a box.
Shelley and I have been talking about working the idea of a church triptych into a tramp art or folk art design. We like the idea of a three-panel design enclosed in a cabinet that would be opened on special occasions. This project seemed like a good place to try it.
The cupboard shown is made from salvaged walnut. the drawers are more of the discarded router cabinet drawers that I have used on other projects (I still have hundreds to use). You can see that the tramp art elements are on the drawer fronts and the inside of the drawers, and can only be seen when the cabinet is opened and presented.

The doors are wrapped in some very rusty roof tin from the old Grape Island Post Office. The layers of rust, paint and dirt add a wonderful patina to the tin.

The inside of the cupboard needed to be bright. I decided to use red, white and blue with a little bit of weathering. I wanted the opening of the cupboard to be a blast of color.

Now that the cupboard is finished I look at it and wonder what it is about. Is the red white blue buried under a layer of decay? Or is the spirit symbolized by the colors bursting forth through the darkness? Hmmm. That's for someone deeper than me to figure out.

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