This entry is a Bike Hacks Classic. This inteview was conducted in February of 2008.
I was recently stumbling around the Net and was stoked to find Mitchell Metalworx. Steve Mitchell takes hacking to a new level by taking discarded bicycle parts and welding them into art. There is some dope stuff on his web site and you should totally take the time to check it out. For example, check out this cog angel:
I asked Steve for an interview - enjoy!
Bike Hacks: Let the people know a bit about you.
Mitchell: I am 30 years old and live Vancouver BC. I have ridden and worked in the bicycle industry for the last 15 years or so. I always enjoyed tinkering on bikes and found I had trouble throwing out anything cool, even if it was broken. Then I found something to do with the stuff in the form of art so now I collect it from the stores I visit in my day job as a bike product rep.
Bike Hacks: What was your first piece of bike art and when did you create it? Did you sell it or keep it?
Mitchell: The first bike art piece I made was a cog map of BC about 3 years ago. As soon as I put it on my wall we had a party and a friend wanted to buy it. I had a bit of sellers remorse, but built another few pieces. I sold a few and replaced the spot on my empty wall.
Bike Hacks: How do you find buyers for your art? Do you go to shows, sell primarily in a gallery, on-line, etc?
Mitchell: Most of the sales I make are from word of mouth. Some of the bigger sculptures I have built are in retail stores on display. Like the angel above and the bikebot (see below).
Bike Hacks: Do you remember your first bike? If so, give us the gory details.
Mitchell: My first real mountain bike was a "Rocky Mnt Fusion." I got it when I was 13 and paid for half of it from my paper route. From there I filed it, drilled it, mod'd, painted, etc. in an effort to make it a light weight racer. Since then I have been a total bike whore and now have a large selection of vintage mountain bikes.
Bike Hacks: Do you commute to work by bike? If so, give us some details on the bike(s) you ride and what your commute is like?
Mitchell: I am a rep in the bike industry and do ride my "Surly long haul trucker" when I don't have to haul around samples. I have covered my 2,000 km territory on my bike in one trip and plan on doing it again.
Bike Hacks: Do you have a favorite bike hack/hacks to share? Something "after market" you have added to your ride?
Mitchell: Pretty much everything I run is "aftermarket." Maybe my favorite and easiest is a fresh set of Maxxis rubber.
Bike Hacks: What is your coolest bike experience ever?
Mitchell: Let's see . . . 6,000 ft vert heli drops, growing up on the north shore of Vancouver, winning provincial DH champs, 200+ person cruiser rides with a rolling bar and sound system, my solo bike tour of BC, hauling a 70lb BOB trailer through single track camping and self supported for 7 days, "Big Mnt" tour of Costa Rica. Too many to name just one.
Bike Hacks: What is the one bike related product you could not live without?
Mitchell: Aside from a bike? I'd say clipless pedals. What's with everyone using flats??
Bike Hacks: Thanks for the interview Steve. In case you were not convinced that Steve is serious about riding, check this picture out.