Flex Machine: 603 Oddity Vending. Vintage vending machines is the last place you would think you might find art. They are an object designed for utility and not for being beautiful. However, Elizabeth Gravelle of Portsmouth NH is trying to eradicate your preconceived notions about vending machines. Her business, Flex Machine, is buying, restoring, rewiring, redesigning and relighting vintage vending machines for dissemination in venues around New Hampshire and Maine.
Gravelle has been working diligently for the past few months restoring a vending machine from the 1980’s. It will be tagged for placement in a local establishment around Portsmouth. In addition to buying the vending machines, Flex Machine has made it transformed. Not only has it been given a facelift, but also a brain transplant. The internal mechanisms that previously only took dollar bills can now accept credit, debit, ApplePay and just about every other form of payment available. The lights that use to be energy hogging bulbs are now environmentally friendly LEDs. Paint, fur, passion and art. Every machine she creates is different and unique as well as artistic.
Flex Machine: It’s Art
The results of the restoration provide a nouveau retro feel of class and disorder. Consequently, you might wonder what you might find for sale in a Flex Machine. Hand painted dice, mini coloring book packs, truth or dare…..“A lot of interactives, so games as well.” said Gravelle. This is not just about commerce but also as an economic stimulating art instillation.
Gravelle is using this business as an avenue to promote other area artists as well. One of the featured artists is Seditious Materials. Seditious Materials is a unique brand of products all made in the US, featuring handmade illustrations created by their in house designer and founder: Dani Schmidt. She is a New England based artist with a penchant for bright colors, bold shapes, and getting exited over meeting dogs on the street. You can find their stickers prominently displayed in some Flex Machines.
Find out more!
You can find out more about Flex Machines on their Facebook and Instagram pages. We look forward to hearing more about what Elizabeth Gravelle does with her machines in the months to come. They are purchasing more vending machines and it is a surprise where you might find them. Keep your eyes peeled and your one dollar bills crisp.