Follow us:

The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

May 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

A master of making art from old vacuums

Gabi_0523_VacShop_02
Will Flannery can transform your grandmother’s old Hoover into a piece of art.

Sketched May 20, 2014

Hoarders like me always have an excuse to avoid spring cleaning. Why not make something out of all that junk in the garage instead of throwing it away?

Vacuum repairman Will Flannery proves my point. He recycles old parts from machines he can’t fix and turns them into art. While he worked at the Vac Shop in Georgetown years ago, he created eye-catching works still on display outside the shop. You can’t drive along 4th Avenue South without noticing the uncanny Groucho Marx or Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer — all made out of unusable vacuums people dropped off or traded in.

I tracked down Flannery at Vac Master, the shop he now runs in Bothell. You’ll recognize it by his biggest vac sculpture to date: a friendly 9 nine-foot robot with a dog on a leash.
Flannery’s whimsical creations are so unique, I don’t think they’d be out of place in an art gallery. But he seemed skeptical of my feedback.

“If I had more time, it’d be fun to make more so people can enjoy them” he said. Now, “it’s just a hobby.”

Gabi_0523_VacShop_01
Vac Shop owner Joann McNally and her son Guy McNally recalled how creative Flannery was when he worked here. Instead of seeing discarded vacuums, he “saw art,” they said.

Comments | More in Portraits | Topics: Bothell, Georgetown

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►