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Conversations with Sabine Meyer zu Reckendorf

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sabine Meyer zu Reckendorf.

Hi Sabine, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was born in Palo Alto, California, where my parents worked for a few years at Stanford University. When I was a couple of years old my parents moved us back to Germany where I grew up and went to school and later studied Object Design. After I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles, California, to work as a designer. As a designer, I built mostly lighting and furniture and other functional art that I designed. Because of the film industry, you can get any kind of material that you desire in LA. The film industry is also a very interesting place to work. So in addition to working on object design, I also worked on films and tv shows as a miniature builder, prop maker and later as a machinist and Special Effects Technician.

When computer software replaced many prop and miniature-making skills, I decided to have my own machine shop and bought a lathe, milling machine and other machine tools. I got more and more into non-functional art and started building sculptures. I also got heavily into mosaic art. Not only did I tile our whole house but was commissioned to create mosaic tile treatments in other homes. Today I am building sculptures out of both found objects and custom-fabricated parts. I like the idea of using objects that people discard and giving them a new life. I am also working to combine my two passions: art out of metal and ceramic tile mosaics. At this moment, I am going big, building my third tower at 15′ high and about 6′ in diameter. I used steel, wire, concrete and mortar to build the structure. This one will have white stucco and colorful concrete spikes on the outside and tile on the inside. In the center, I am building a spiral staircase to eventually go up to the roof of our house. The last tower also had an actual function since it has a roof garden which I always wanted to have.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
One of the struggles was definitely language. I spoke very little English when I moved to Los Angeles. Other struggles included crime and my complete naivete. I had a lot to learn – the hard way. I was robbed and attacked so many times that I briefly decided to become a bodybuilder. It is hard to make a living as an artist and designer so I had to take on many strange jobs to support my art.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I build sculptures and whatever else comes into my head. I specialize in metalwork, use of fluorescent acrylic, kinetic art, and ceramic tile mosaic art. I am known for creating joyful artwork. I am most proud of making people smile with happiness. What sets me apart from others is a unique uplifting aesthetic.

How do you think about happiness?
What makes me happy is being in the middle of a fun project. I am fully engaged with all of the challenges and the creativity is flowing. I like to spend time in nature. Hanging out in my jungle garden with my dogs, bunny and husband makes me very happy.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photos of all artworks by Sabine Meyer zu Reckendorf. Photo of the artist credit to Donna Bates.

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