Paul Harty and Eric Harty are not only first cousins; they are friends. Eric looks up to Paul, who is older. Paul admires Eric’s artistic ability. They are both musicians. They support each other. They are as close as brothers.
So when Paul found out that Eric had fallen in love with welding as an art form, he asked his cousin to make him a drum set coffee table. When the table was unveiled, Paul was blown away.
It truly is a masterpiece. Metal and scraps lovingly molded, welded, shaped, and crafted into a gleaming, amazing structure. The glass-topped coffee table represents Paul’s talent as a drummer for the band Halfway Gone. It also lights up and includes a dimmer switch. But the thing that touched Paul the most was the MitoAction logo on the pedal. He never asked for that to be included, but Eric knew.
“He took it upon himself to take into account … MitoAction, which is very personal to me and my family,” said Paul, who is president of the MitoAction board of directors. “I was blown away by his level of thought.
“MitoAction is a big part of our lives and I thought it was a really special gesture for him to include it in an art piece.”
One of Paul’s four kids — Matthew, age 6 (with Michael, 10, Gabby, 6, and Rebecca, 12, at left) — has mitochondrial disease, specifically Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency.
“I just know how important MitoAction is to him and Matthew,” Eric said. “It made sense to include it on the table.”
For Paul’s table, Eric used file cabinets, bars from engine crates, pieces of duct work, and frames. It is proudly on display in Paul’s living room in North Andover, MA.
Eric’s up-and-coming business is called 2nd Chance Recycled Metal Art and is located in Antrim, NH. He gives new life to discarded scraps. Second chance also describes Eric (right), who himself has been given one, thanks to the love from his family. “I was trying to figure out a path to go in,” he said. “I was going down a lousy road but I was able to get help to better myself.”
A couple of months in a recovery center for alcoholism changed his life. He’s been clean and sober for almost two years. During his recovery, he reevaluated himself, focusing on what he wanted to do with his life. He returned to his job as a cook and at the same time looked into an automotive career. It was during his research into cars that he came across welding.
While interning at a mechanic’s shop, he watched as his mentor welded a muffler onto a car. “That was it,” Eric said. “It was totally cool.” And he was hooked.
Eric has a natural ability to turn scraps into art. He’s always had an artistic side. He hopes to one day turn his metal work into a full-time gig. His shop is set up in his house, which he bought from a glass blower, so the place was already equipped. And out front, he has a 9-foot skeleton creature he created called Alfonso.
For Eric, “second chance” is the theme of every day and he’s living life to the fullest.
Eric calls working with metal magical. Paul, for one, gets to experience that magic every day.
For more information or to commission a piece from Eric, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-831-3132. You can check out his smaller scale work on etsy.com at http://www.etsy.com/shop/2ndChanceMetalArt?ref=seller_info.