Hogansville antique shop gives outdated twist to modern art – LaGrange Daily News


Allan Boyer lights a lamp on the counter of his antique dealer, Born Again Antiques. The lamp is very unconventional and very strange to look at, but otherwise very much in tune with the industrial and steampunk style, which he infuses into his other projects.

When asked what the lamp is made of, he smiles and replies “this is really great”.

The lamp is made from a steel milking machine and is just one of hundreds of reused items he has used to make the art projects and everyday items he sells in his store.

Boyer has owned and operated Born Again Antiques for over 16 years, he said, but only started making art from the objects he owns 10 years ago.

It all started when a couple of college students walked into his shop looking for “steampunk” artwork for their dorms.

“I thought to myself what the hell is this,” he said, and started his own research on the steampunk trend.

Steampunk is a science fiction subgenre that mixes 19th century technology and aesthetic designs. In terms of art, it incorporates industrial and outdated technologies of the time, such as metal, gears and glass.

Boyer started his own research and came across steampunk artwork on sites like Pinterest. He began to locate the items he had in his shop to create lamps and sculptures, using his previous knowledge of wiring and painting to give each room the aesthetic look of the steampunk genre.

“I’m trying to find something that I think would make a great lamp or a great coffee table, and I’m starting to add from there,” Boyer said. “When I get cool stuff I think to myself, what’s the best way to [make something]? “

Many of his art projects can be found in his shop: tiny silverware figurines and chimes; a lamp made from an old hair dryer and glass necklaces and watch gears.

Some of Boyer’s clients bring him items such as farm equipment to make art. Some even call on his help to create their own art.

“They’ll tell me ‘I’m not very creative’ and I’ll say ‘but you will be’,” he said. “It’s part of their learning process and I try to give them ideas.

The key to making your projects as authentic as possible is to use all the aged items in a room, never brand new.

“I had someone build a sculpture once, and they used brand new screws and bolts, and I said ‘Why did you have to do this?’ he recalled. “Better to use rusty nails and screws… it’s older.” To do it another way is just lazy.

The additions of his art have not only enhanced his own creative streak, but also given him a broader idea of ​​the items he can bring into his shop.

During his travels through estates and yard sales, Boyer searches for items “that no other antique store will carry,” he said, such as rusted metals and items that are beaten.

Some of the more unique items given to him include a wooden prosthetic leg that Boyer denied inserting into a work of art but was ultimately sold, as well as a real human skull found on the back of his house. ‘a car.

One of his most recent contributions was a 200-year-old chest from Transylvania.

“It was so exciting… it came from the same place as Dracula’s house,” Boyer said.

To find such items, Boyer travels everywhere, including through some of the dirtiest basements and attics to find what he wants.

“I’m not afraid of rats or spiders,” Boyer said with a laugh. “When I go to a place I find what I want… I want to find something that stands out. “

Years ago, Boyer had scoured the world for finds and picked up everything from bottles to wall decorations.

Some of his most valuable possessions include a wooden box that once held cavity embalming liquid for a mortuary in Hogansville and ancient signs and memorabilia from Hogansville. He has objects from Prague, Istanbul and Africa that he bought during his travels, and even more singularly, genuine false eyes.

“I try to keep things that will make the kids happy here, and the parents have fun too,” Boyer said.

Boyer maintains a balance between selling an item as is or using it for a work of art.

Ultimately, he enjoys the hunt as much as the process, and prides himself on having even the most intricate items that others will rarely wear, and the little nicks and electric shocks he received along the way have been detrimental. badges of honor.

“It’s really about finding what works,” Boyer said. “You keep looking and experimenting… and you end up finding the right pieces that make it come together. ”

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