Tag Archives: automania

Automania continued…

So I had planned to move on to something else today, but since my dear devoted reader asked (thank you Rattlebox), I will talk about Automania a bit more. However, please note that I do go to a bit of effort to set up links to all the wonderful artists and studios I mention, and though I try to highlight as much information in my posts as I can, you will undoubtedly be better served by using these links and going straight to the source!

Having said that, Automania is a supplier of picture cars and props to the film industry. Their warehouse spans a full block, and apparently houses an incredible number of historic cars, as well as auto-related props, sets, and backdrops. Check out their picture car photo gallery and imagine the implications of their insane parking scenario… 

It reminds me of those puzzles we did on long car drives when I was a kid, where a square with 16 square slots was filled with 15 tiny square pieces that slid either horizontally or vertically within the larger square… you could only move one piece one square at a time, and the goal was to rearrange all the pieces to form a picture. Needless to say, those puzzles were fun for all of about 5 minutes. I can’t imagine being Automania’s parking lot attendant. Yikes!

The company was founded by car enthusiast Bill Silveira, and I am assuming he is the creator of many of the metal sculptures featured in and around the property.  You can see more of his artistic creations here.  And here are a few more shots I took as I tooled around his warehouse in Jingletown…



Check out the cool cactus planter created out of a couple slabs of metal above.



Rust in Peace

So I thought this week we’d talk about METAL…

Many of us in modern society have little experience manipulating metal, other than perhaps wrapping a piece of tinfoil around our leftover pizza or crushing a soda can before tossing it in the recycling. But for centuries of human history the man who could shape metal was an important man indeed.  He made the weapons and armor, the horseshoes, plowshares, and wagon wheel rims, the locks and chains, nearly all of the tools, and much much more.  There is a wealth of information on this history at the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association website.

With the industrial revolution and the mechanization of many processes, many blacksmiths were replaced by machinists in factories.  Many of these metalworkers went on to become the first generation of auto mechanics (Wikipedia).  Which kind of brings us right around to where I want to be…

I’ve been wanting to focus on metal sculptures and other interesting manipulations of metal for a bit now, but was reminded last week when I took a walking tour of the Jingletown area around the Institute of Mosaic Arts. I passed by Automania and saw all kinds of fantastic metal sculptures and fabrications, mostly welded together out of car parts. Automania’s front entrance is on Glascock, but the back of the warehouse and car lot are on Ford Street, which is where these shots were taken.



Aren’t they gorgeous? I love the spark plugs!




IMA big fan of the Institute of Mosaic Arts!  Ok… I know that’s corny, but it’s late and I’ve got 5 posts to do before bed since I’m doing a little travelling this weekend.  In preparation, I got up early this morning and headed down to the little corner of Jingletown this school/workshop occupies.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, there are numerous murals and smaller mosaics installed around the neighborhood immediately surrounding IMA.  I strolled around for about a half hour and saw no fewer than twenty, among the many other cool things I’ll hopefully get to in future posts, like Ford Street Studios, Automania, and more.  This is a cool part of town.

Here are a few photos of the Institute itself… These don’t even show all the mosaics on this building. It’s kind of crazy.





If these hearts look at all familiar to you, it might be because Laurel True, the founder of IMA, was also a participating artist in the “Hearts in San Francisco” sculpture project a few years ago.

There are tons of classes offered at various levels, and a workshop cafe where you can drop in and work on your own projects.  Check it out!  You might just leave your heart at IMA.