MotoArt Takes Off
The endeavor, which began as something of a lark in Hall’s garage, has taken flight. Fourteen years later after polishing that first airplane propeller, the designing duo has crafted more than 100 limited-edition series of art and furnishings made from discarded airplane parts.
Thanks to the vision of these two men, old airplanes have found a second life — and many might argue that life is even better the second time around.
No longer fitting in a garage, MotoArt, Inc. is a furniture design company in El Segundo, Calif., that creates functional art from out-of-service airplanes. It has grown into an international operation with 18 employees, a 20,000-square-foot studio in California and sales distributors all over the world. This year, it will open a new showroom in China and roll out more than a dozen new designs.
Where others saw trash, Hall and Fell saw clean lines that could create innovative and aesthetically appealing designs, and today the company has a following of high-profile clients. (After all, what shows you mean business better than a conference table made from the wing flap of a B-52 bomber?)
In the hands of these two designers, a salvaged landing-gear door can be reborn as a gleaming kitchen sink, and the wing of a Gulfstream can become an inviting bar for serving up cocktails. Their artistic vision seems limitless, as they constantly find new ways to transform scrapped parts into works of functional art.
The line includes beds, credenzas, tables, chairs and desks, and can be found at such companies as AOL, Boeing and GoDaddy. It’s also popular among advertising agencies, law firms, tech companies and — no surprise here — aerospace companies.
“It took a leap of faith to quit the day job back then to do MotoArt full time,” Hall admits. “All the neighbors thought I was building an airplane in my garage at first.”
Next page: Silencing the Skeptics