Mike Maxwell Crafts Pinball Parts Into Fine Furniture
Mike Maxwell handcrafts beautiful furniture for bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms. Some of his furniture incorporates pinball playfields or backglasses rescued from parts machines, such as a coffee table built around a Stern Trident playfield.
Maxwell was one of over 200 artists displaying their creations at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston, Virginia on May 15 & 16, 2010.
The clean lines of Maxwell's furniture drew us into his booth, where we were impressed by the quality of his joinery. In a few pieces, the finely finished cherry wood contrasted with splashes of color from pinball playfields that formed some of the surfaces.
Maxwell's Silverball line of furniture began when he restored three pinball machines into one working game. Rather than discard or sell the playfields from the parts machines, he designed and built coffee tables featuring the excess playfields under glass. Maxwell restored the playfields to pristine condition, but removed protruding mechanisms from underneath.
Maxwell also builds furniture around other pinball machine parts salvaged from non-functioning games. In Maxwell's workshop, backglasses become tables, mirrors, or framed art. His website shows a console bar featuring a Gottlieb Hi Dolly back box.
My favorite piece was a console table with cabinet doors from made from pieces of a 1948 Bally Gold Cup playfield. As on many other horse race themed games of that era, the Gold Cup playfield was organized in three sections from top to bottom: Purse, Show, and Place. Maxwell cleverly cut the playfield into three corresponding cabinet doors. A few repositioned bumpers and posts serve as door handles.