Vintage Typewriters Are Taken Apart and Reassembled Into Movable Bird Sculptures

Bird Sculpture Created from Typewriter Parts

Nearly 30 years ago, sculptor Jeremy Mayer disassembled a typewriter. And in doing so, he found a medium that allow him to express his creativity, as well as his fondness for the vintage machine. Like most people of a certain age, Mayer remembers growing up with a typewriter in the home. As a child, he was fascinated with its design and movement. Now, as an adult, his sculptures—which include an ever-growing series of birds—are aesthetic marvels that make us think about the past and where technology is headed.

Each sculpture is assembled from the parts of different typewriters that Mayer has collected over the past several decades. As he doesn't use glue or solder pieces together, the sculptures come together using the screws, nuts, and bolts from the typewriter.

“The whole process is kind of like Legos or an Erector set,” he tells My Modern Met. “My studio process is building a huge puzzle with infinite combinations, only using what's immediately available to me. Building involves a lot of disassembly and then reassembly of the sculpture in progress, as things don't always hold together or look quite right the first time around. It can be immensely frustrating, but always, ultimately, rewarding.”

From striking ravens that bob their heads to delicate sparrows that can spread their wings, Mayer's bird sculptures masterfully capture the personality of each animal. After several decades of using typewriters—a choice that was initially sparked by his love of recycling and budget constraints—he continues to be inspired by them. “Choosing this one specific way to make art and foster a relationship to a single machine,” Mayer shares, “has been an ever-changing and rewarding journey.”

Of course, he's also well aware that some may have mixed reactions to his disassembly of these machines, noting that people often ask the same questions that he did when he took apart his first typewriter. These questions include, “should anyone be doing this with such a utile, beautifully crafted machine that isn't being built anymore? What about all of the people who typed to each other with this machine? How can [he] destroy a machine that seems to be imbued with a personality? What does this say about our personal relationship to machines, particularly as technology and society advance and evolve?”

But, as Mayer points out, these questions are all around us as we are constantly evolving and pushing the limits of technology. This includes, but isn't limited to AI, the power of social networking, and programmable DNA.

Mayer asks, “What is a machine? What is life? All of these are questions that I can only answer by doing my work. I don't have any answers yet, but I always feel like I'm getting closer.”

For more about Mayer's creative process and love of typewriters, check out the 2016 documentary California TypewriterAnd if you are interested in owning a bird sculpture, Mayer is available to give information via Instagram.

For nearly 30 years Jeremy Mayer has been using vintage typewriters to create sculptures.

Bird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculpture Created from Typewriter PartsClose Up of Beak from Bird Sculpture by Jeremy Mayer

His work includes an ever-growing series of bird sculptures, some of which move.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jeremy Mayer (@jeremymayer)

To create his sculptures, Mayer dissembles different typewriters and fits the pieces together.

Owl Sculpture in Progress by Jeremy MayerOwl Sculpture Created from Typewriter Parts

There is no glue or welding involved; everything is held together using only typewriter parts.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jeremy Mayer (@jeremymayer)

Bird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy Mayer

“Choosing this one specific way to make art and foster a relationship to a single machine has been an ever-changing and rewarding journey.”

Bird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculptures Made from Vintage Typewriters by Jeremy MayerBird Sculpture Created from Typewriter PartsJeremy Mayer: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Jeremy Mayer.

Related Articles:

Amazing Darth Vader Bust Created with Upcycled Junk

Incredibly Lifelike Sculptures Built With Old Typewriter Parts

Ornate Surreal Sculptures Formed From Thousands of Ordinary Objects

Iconic Objects of the Past “Dissected” Into Incredible Suspended Sculptures

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]