service brewing: tap handle

Service Brewing brews beers and donates a portion of their profits to charities that support service.  Additionally, they commission art. Service Brewing asked that a group of artists adapt one tap handle each to reflect a patriotic theme.  All will be used in the R+D division serving area. In order to make a tribute to my family and to all who serve, I've collected hundreds of buttons both vintage and contemporary with the majority from military uniforms. Others are simply brass.  In addition to applying the buttons, I've encrusted the piece with found beads, brads and deconstructed stainless steel ball chains:  didn't my dog tags come on these?

I love the idea of so many hands throughout history touching these small items.  I understand the buttons have seen and heard myriad stories unfold and fold back again. I also enjoyed thinking about my two grandfathers and their time in the Navy during World War II. One served in the Hawaiin Area.  The other served as an illustrator in the Coastal Command drawing maps from aerial photographs for the Western Task Force. Having recently snorkeled in a coral reef, I couldn't help thinking about the ocean's ability to encrust whatever stays still with unusual shapes, color and life.  In creating the piece, I saw the handle growing into a little treasure of history, people, shape, color and life as well.

And as the Service Brewers develop beers, test them, taste them with visitors, share stories, this handle will witness and hopefully serve another hundred years.