Choker [Piano Practice], 2012 | piano hammers, wire
Once the hallmark of a middle class home, today the majority of unwanted pianos end up in landfills. The city of Fort Collins, Colorado uses donated instruments in its ‘Pianos About Town’ public art program, which places them outdoors for the public to play. Periodically, the instruments are swapped out, which gave me the opportunity to acquire a set of deaccessioned parts.
Sorting through a pile of pieces reminded me of an incident from my youth, when I was resistantly learning how to play. Increasingly frustrated, during one practice I remember leaning forward and biting the soft wood of the fallboard.
My design is therefore based on necklaces made of animal teeth, used in different cultures for adornment, barter, and as status symbols. On a personal level, the work represents an overdue and unexpected mastery of the instrument.