You’ve heard the expression, “He works out of his truck.” Bill Bourdon takes it to an extreme.
While working 60 to 70 hours a week as a delivery driver for Takeout Guys, he uses the back of his truck as his office and art studio. “What’s great about Takeout Guys is, when you’re not doing a delivery, your time is your own. I pop up the back seat and work on projects.”
One of his current interests is small sculptures of trees made from wire. He learned how to make trees from wire for miniature sets while at film school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “I was working at a call center and I was bored. I can’t sit still … I don’t have an ‘idle.’” One day he found an old extension cord and after stripping the cord down to its wire core, began making trees.
"I’d put them on top of my cubicle.” Soon, his office mates began offering to buy them.
“I said, 'Sure, they’re not worth anything to me.'” He adds that the idea that someone “would actually spend their money on something I made is such a huge compliment to me.”
When his fiancée, Erin Morrigan, encouraged him to take his wire sculptures further, Totally Wired Studio was born. “She and I are both artistic and kind of push each other to strive for more.” Recently, he came up with a method to frame the trees so they may be hung from a wall. He hopes to have a gallery show featuring the Totally Wired Frameables in the near future.
When asked how he knows when he’s done with a sculpture, he says, “I never know when I’m done cooking. I keep adding more ingredients and spices until I add so much it just tastes like a pile of salt.” Art is different. “I can see what it looks like before I finish it. And eventually I run out of wire,” he adds with a laugh.
Wire trees were only the beginning. “I’m branching out, so to speak, into set design and props.” Though work on large-scale studio work is scarce, the Seacoast has a number of independent filmmakers. He also has screenplays for a horror movie, a buddy comedy and a children’s book in the works. “I have ideas for sequels to scripts I haven’t finished yet,” he says.
Yet another current project is a YouTube series with Tom Clark. “Each episode, I give a ‘how to’ on things from wire trees to movie props. This is an ongoing project that will eventually spin off into a feature length documentary.” The series will premiere next year.
He says he tries to live by the idea that “Life begins at 40. The first 40 years you’re practicing and learning from your environment. From 40 on, you’re actually trying to make the environment around you better.” He’s been working on that for the past three years. “I can’t settle into one thing because I have too many interests in everything.”
Bourdon’s work is available at etsy.com/shop/totallywiredstudio. For more information, please visit facebook.com/totallywiredstudio or instagram.com/totallywiredstudio.
Takeout Guys delivers breakfast, lunch and dinner to homes and businesses from about 40 restaurants in the Portsmouth/Kittery area. Deliveries are primarily from restaurants without a delivery option. Learn more at www.takeoutguys.biz.
Michael Lohmeier lives in Portsmouth and writes a bi-weekly feature on the second lives many people lead outside of their main professions. Know someone who would make for an interesting profile? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and share a bit about their story and their contact information. See more Other Lives profiles online at www.seacoastonline.com/topics/Other-Lives.