Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Ezra Cimino-Hurt of Case of Bass

Photo by Christian Columbres

Ezra Cimino-Hurt is a character, in a good way. He’s got a fantastical way of thinking that helped him envision Case of Bass. Case of Base is today’s boombox for those with a design sensibility who appreciate the handmade. These portable music sound systems are locally made from repurposed materials and mostly vintage suitcases. They’re just cool. The lucky bird that get’s this perch is in for a treat.

YPE Where did the idea of Case of Bass come from?

ECH Case of Bass was hatched from the need to have a boombox of my own.  I went to Best Buy and while the TDX model designed by Ziba design no less was the object of my attention, I saw flaws in it, and wanted to tweak my own design.  The ability to want to create something and just allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole and see where it takes you.  I didn’t set out to build what I do today, but my skill set and vision of what I enjoyed and what made me happy shaped the products I make today.  

YPE What’s the most elaborate one you’ve made?

ECH I had the opportunity to work with Lindsay Joy Holmes of MapleXO this past spring to put together some pieces for National Go Skateboarding day on 7/21.  I had been envisioning a boombox made out of skateboards that was a feature you could skate.  Grind the handle as it played your music.  We started talking and her idea was that’s fun, but what about a ramp?  That was it and we ended up designing and building a Quarterpipe Boombox that was entirely veneered with skateboard maple end grain, complete with a horn deathbox and concrete pool coping.  The challenge wasn’t making something that looked good and sounded amazing, it was doing that and building the art to withstand the abuse of thousands of skateboarders hitting it over and over.  We did and it did.  It’s rad.

YPE Have you made them for any celebrities?

ECH  I have, but they aren’t the heroes in this story.  I find out later that celebrities ordered cases through my website and I deliver them their goods like everybody else.  I like to think that you become the celebrity of your block when you order a Case of Bass and drop it on your stoop on a nice summer day.  

YPE Is there a dream Case of Bass you’d like to build?

ECH  Oh boy, I just want to build them all perfect.  The challenge of the perfect assembly while working with imperfect materials and reusing old items is constantly throwing me curve balls.   I move from crazy idea to crazy idea, and once I flush it out I move on.  I have wanted some sort of interactive drum machine and smoke machine case to be built.  That’s my current unicorn.

YPE What about the Put A Bird In It Project has inspired you?

ECH I had to realize that I was building it for myself, and sharing it with the show.  I started thinking about what would people like to see, then was overwhelmed with what I would like to see.  I am pretty weird, so you get something that might be on the weird side.  

YPE Why do you make?

ECH If I don’t I would die.  I don’t have another setting and it’s how I fill everyday of my life.  Even if tied to a tree without the ability to physically put my ideas into reality I would imagine them.  They would probably include creative ways to get untied from a tree.

Be sure to check out Case of Bass on Instagram, he’s got some fun stuff there!