The fabricators at Eco Relics are a special group of people. Outside the box, maybe, if we’re trying to put personalities into theoretical boxes. It takes a creative mind to tackle the various projects that come through our shop, working from a rotating stock of unique salvaged material where you never get the same thing twice. Each finished piece is truly one-of-a-kind, just like the folks that make them. Please allow me to introduce you to Parker, one of Eco Relics’ friendly fabricators.
Originally from Orlando, Parker is a UNF grad (Business, Art, and Graphic Design) that stuck around. He’s been making things as long as he can remember, learning to use tools by watching his dad fix things around the house. Around age 10, they teamed up to build a halfpipe in the backyard. “I learned to use the jig saw, drill, etc., and after that I figured I could build anything,” Parker says confidently, as fabricators are wont to do when recalling a history of increasingly complex projects.
These days, he really means it when he says he can build anything. While Parker makes some of the most inspiring tables, chairs, and doors you are likely to lay eyes on, he is also interested in anything else a customer might want to throw his way. He glances wistfully at the Eco Relics stock of gorgeous tonewoods and talks cigar box guitars. Rustic meets modern, metal and wood. It’s an aesthetic Parker favors. He tells me about the magnolia table with metal legs that he made from a customer, the one he almost made an offer on for himself.
The ingenuity and imagination that goes into working with salvage always gets me thinking, where does craft end and artistry begin? This is a great question to ask the fabricators themselves, who seem to spend their lives blurring the boundaries. For Parker, it is a question of design and execution. While an artist’s dreams are boundless, the craftsman must work in reality. Sometimes dreams are too far from reality to execute, but “if I see something I didn’t think was possible, I just have to touch it and visually dissect it,” Parker says. It takes an artist to look at an art object as the result of a craft process, and likewise, the craftsman’s unique solutions to design problems often seem to drift into artistry.
It’s not just a job for Parker, who counts fabrication as his hobby as well. Working at Eco Relics has been so enjoyable, he says, that he often loses track of time and is surprised to see the shop closing up around him. He finds himself working in his home shop when he’s not at Eco Relics. Parker’s dogs, two papillions named Penelope and Zeus, might be his only escape from creating. Then again, there’s always custom dog houses.
If you are interested in ordering a custom piece, you can contact Parker directly at Parker@ecorelics.com. Ask about anything! He’s glad to be working in the only shop in town with a viewing area for customers so he can answer your questions and satisfy your curiosities in person or through email.