Friday, January 23, 2009

Rich Dunbrack -The Thieving Magpie

Many of you have emailed me for information about the whimsical clock I have in my kitchen. I thought it timely to share with you the work of Concord, Massachusetts Folk Artist, Rich Dunbrack.

I came upon his work quite unexpectedly at a Sunday morning flea market in Rowley, MA almost ten years ago. There he had stored in a barn, several pieces which were not for sale, but waiting to ship to lucky, new owners. I was immediately smitten with his work. Rich uses found objects and architectural antiques to create his one of kind pieces. Cupboards and clocks can contain fragments of old buildings, antique iron grates, bedposts, clock faces, old farm tools, eel spears, wooden paper mache molds and old barn siding. He meticulously blends these elements together and creates what he calls art that is "utilitarian with elements of vitality." You can"t help but smile when you see his work in person.

Here are a few of his pieces:

Happy Moon Cupboard

Includes building salvage from western Massachusetts, house and tobacco farm materials and an antique moon paper mache mold.

Head and Shoulders Above - Tall Clock

Fabricated from southern Vermont salvage, Victorian house fragments, a bronze doll's head and a period clock dial
Old Road to Nine Acre Corner - Column Cupboard

Built with period New Hampshire artifacts including a Federal house column, Victorian house fragments and iron fittings and hardware, Victrola tube and a mahogany, folk art carved figure.

This custom desk built for the owner of The Zoo Factory in Florida is only one of a few desks Dunbrack has ever fabricated. Another sits happily in Carly Simon's house in Martha's Vineyard. Simon was an early collector and supporter of Dunbrack's art.
Spying Moon - Cupboard / Pantry

Fabricated from Southern NH reclaim, 1800's Federal house materials, period folk art carving and cast stove fragments The 5 Hole - Cupboard

Fabricated from southern Vermont salvage, Brattleboro, VT Arts & Crafts period home, folk art carving, and an early eel spear.
If you continue to be intrigued, check out Rich's website at
I am sure it will bring a smile to your face!


  1. I love the whimsy and charm of each item! Lucky you to own one! Thanks for sharing!

  2. They are so great! After you posted yours I googled him and found his website. They are just fantastic. It's perfect in your kitchen.

  3. They all have such personality.
    So incredibly charming.
    Great post, Gina.


  4. Oh, these are fabulous! They so fit the imagery that "thieving magpie" envokes! I adore the happy moon one and the one near the bottom with the weather vane on top. WOW! I'm off to see his site for more! Thanks for the introduction to him! xo Isa

  5. Such a creative talent, his work is just fantastic!
    Millie ^_^

  6. I remember seeing his work at the Paradise Valley Art Show for the first time. You are so lucky to have one of his pieces.

  7. A longtime fan, at last I own one of Rich's clocks too, it was the first work of art that I bought for my first house. Never a day goes by that it doesn't make me smile!

  8. We actually love his stuff so much that we found room for two clocks in our small house (and saved up for each one for a year or so). What the last post said is true, they never fail to make us smile. I'd rather have a clock than a fancy refrigerator! So I have two clocks, and an old refrigerator!


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