Looking for a last-minute gift? No matter the recipient, bet they can’t help but smile at the clever assembled-art robots made of recycled bits and pieces at Flying Pig Local Mercantile in the Crossroads Arts District.
These robots take on a multitude of materials — metal tea balls, salt and pepper shakers, Lego bricks, Tinker Toys and film canisters — and are morphed into ornaments (called ornabots) and small sculptures full of charm. Although they aren’t mechanically useful in the galactic sense like R2-D2, a few pieces are functional and include a recipe box or other forms of mini storage.
They’re the work of local maker Rebecca Jackson, who lends her initials to her company, Remnants by RJ. Jackson is influenced by steampunk, the sci-fi mashup of modern technology and Victorian style. Each bot comes with a name and a backstory, giving them personality and suggesting why certain parts went together.
“Her work is pure fun,” said Katie Wooldridge, who co-owns Flying Pig with her husband, Adam Nelson. Their store opened earlier this year, an extension of the couple’s T-shirt screen-printing business, and carries other items by Kansas City area creatives including wooden bow ties, leather goods, books, coasters and cards.
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Remnants by RJ robots start at about $14 and range to $150 at Flying Pig Local Mercantile, 1919 Wyandotte, 816-569-4726.