A Penny For your Thoughts – Johnny Swing

08 Jun

sculpture made from coins

Ever wondered what to do with all of the loose change that you find down the back of the sofa?  Well you could make a new sofa… I rather suspect that would take a long time, and would certainly bring a new meaning to saving up for your furniture… but for those of you guys who hate loose change dragging down your trousers… this could be the solution. Although a bit of welding experience might be required.

Vermont based Johnny Swing is a trained sculptor and licensed welder, who uses found materials and objects to repurpose into art, furniture and more.   His lecturer once stated that if Johnny had designed the Pyramids they would have been built with the point in the ground.

coin sculpture

Swing says it “was about taking what was a useless piece of money and kind of making it special again.” With this idea in mind he constructed his first piece out of pennies. What many consider America’s most disposable piece of coinage suited his purpose perfectly.

Sourcing pennies however was not without it’s problems. After 1981 pennies were made with zinc, which caused them to disintegrate when welded together. Finding thousands of pennies dating before Reagan took office made an already labor-intensive process even more of a chore. So he moved on to Nickles, which with about 7,000 coins in the average couch it equates to about US$350…. But don’t think that the sale price is determined by the value of the coinage used!  Given each chair on average takes about 300 hours to produce and 35,000 welds it is probably not surprising that they sell upwards of US$100,000!

All the kings men johnny swing 7 Audacious Sofa Made from Coins by Johnny Swing

For those of you who wonder what happens to all of those jars that the coins are collected in…well they do not go to waste either… introducing the “Jardelear”

And well if the idea of sitting on something cold and hard is a little bit too much to bear…well Johnny has thought of that also….. with a dollar teddy or piggy bank to snuggle up to.

Coin Furniture & Currency Textiles - Photo

For those of you who were bought up on an understanding that it is an offence to deface money…. on calling the US treasury he was “it’s your money do what you want”…and if you can make US$100,000, out of $350… one might say good on you… although I am sure treasury and the IRS will have the last laugh when they send him a tax bill!!

Well this certainly brings a new meaning to look after the pennies and the pounds (or should I say dollars) will look after themselves…good on him!

……On with the colourful journey……..


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7 responses to “A Penny For your Thoughts – Johnny Swing

  1. EverydaySparks

    June 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Oh I love these, BCD! Though if the Australian dollar keeps dropping, at some point it would probably be worth cashing in that teddy bear… 🙂

  2. This Sydney Life

    June 8, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Don’t you reckon’ Johnny sounds like an interesting guy to have at a dinner party? Loving the chairs AND the teddybear AND the wee smirky smile on Johnny’s face in the pic’! 🙂

    Hope you’re having fun over there in Blighty, BCD

    • This Sydney Life

      June 8, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Oooh – Liberty sale starts next week (I think!)

      • birdcagedesign

        June 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        The weather is not too great but has been really great, have been catching up with family from my 6 month nephew to my 98 year old gran, so been great to see everyone! Not much time for shopping as of yet though! 🙂

        • This Sydney Life

          June 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

          Ha! You only need to go to Liberty – its a one-stop-shop for peeps like us!

          I always find missing the nieces and nephews growing up the hardest part of living in a different country, and I’m closer to mine than you. Enjoy!


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