A Busy Night in the Music Maker Grotto

inUncategorizedon December 12, 2013


Tom Ciaburri, Ironing Board Sam and Thomas Heisler

Last night was a very special and exciting moment here in our Music Maker Grotto. Earlier in the afternoon our partner Tom Ciaburri stopped by the office. He had just come back from two weeks in Israel working on a film on reconciliation.

I wanted to do another tintype session and had been thinking of mirrors and how they could help bounce light off our flash units. Tom said he just gave a mirror to Ironing Board Sam, so we headed over to Sam’s apartment. When Sam answered the door, I noticed that his back door was closed and I asked why. Sam said that was his meditation space now and that it was filled with mirrors. He then brought out a very large mirror from his collection and lent it to us. Tom and I headed back to the studio and set up lights and mirrors for a couple hours. Aaron came down to mix chemicals and Tom took off. Later that night Aaron and I were well into a tintype session. In walked Sam, Tom Ciaburri and intern Thomas.


Ironing Board Sam

The Music Maker Grotto is a 16-by-60-foot basement space. The back third was hung with canvas cloth to create a small den for Sam to record a Christmas CD, while Aaron and I continued to work on our tintypes. Sam and Tom said, “This is great, what energy we have in here, we can feel it!” As we all shared the studio, lights going off to develop a tintype plate, lights going on so Sam could record another tune, Tom called out for us to be quiet as we moved around. Sam started singing a song about Randolph the Reindeer – he was the fat cousin of Rudolph. Aaron and I could hardly contain ourselves, we stopped what we were doing and slipped through the canvas and listened with amazement.

Tom had been editing film all through the night before, had a quick nap, edited all afternoon and was back to shooting last night. Tom always gets his shots – intent, focused and ready to go all night. I have been working with Tom for five years now, he came to work for us when he was just 20 years old.  When I looked over at Tom that evening, his presence was just as strong as his subject Ironing Board Sam. Tom has grown to be a great artist, embarking on his journey, partnering up with Sam who just loves him. Our small Music Maker team was down in a basement creating art, recording a Christmas album, shooting a video and creating tintypes. We cracked open a bottle of Cathead Vodka shared a sip and toasted ourselves. Our lives had led to this moment. Who knows when we will do this again, but we had all done something great, all different mediums, all at the same time, with total respect and love for each other.


Filmmaker Tom Ciaburri

>> Read about our Music Maker tintypes!

>> Did you know you can purchase a custom-made Ironing Board Sam pendant?

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