Photo of John Biermacher

John Biermacher

Kalamazoo, MI, United States

I consider myself an artisan, more than an artist. Since the late 1980’s I have re-purposed architectural salvage (doors, windows, columns, corbels), used furniture, and reclaimed lumber into cabinets, tables, benches, entry mirrors, and furniture accessories. Rather than art, the end products should be called functional furniture with “a unique look”. This project started with a Cable Nelson baby grand piano. The serial number (181903) suggests it was constructed in the late 1930’s. It was at the end of it useful life as a piano. The casework was damaged and most of the white key covers were missing. With some direction from, I removed the strings, the legs, the heavy cast metal harp, and the key mechanism…leaving the basic carcass. I have/will use some “left-overs” in other projects. The next steps in converting it to a bookcase/back bar were: repairing the interior (including the sounding board); reclaiming the space where the key mechanism was; and incorporating the keys to maintain the essence of the piano. Key elements I am pleased with include: covering the sounding board with old sheet music, purchased on Craigslist; re-surfacing the white keys with oak veneer; building the vertical side cabinet with reclaimed door panels; adding some bun feet for elevation; and fabricating the shelves from the original top of the piano. Like most of my projects, the satisfaction comes from creating an attractive and functional piece of furniture that incorporates the craftsmanship of artisans from a bygone era.

John's ArtPrize Entries

These are John's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of Piano Bookcase

    Piano Bookcase

    2017 ArtPrize Entry John Biermacher
    More Details

John's Past Work

These are images of past work that John has done.

  • John's past work
  • John's past work
  • John's past work
  • John's past work
  • John's past work