Cassette Anatomy

Yesterday, I came to terms with the fact it may take a few months to finish out my new art series. So I decided to become friendly with my materials and experiment with my processes in the extra time.

The majority of my [stolen] cassette tapes are from the 80s, a decade known to be the peak of cassette quality. Then, I have a handful of colored, clear shell tapes from the 90s, and even some vintage styled cassettes from the 60s.

A cassette tape can be welded shut, screwed together, or snapped into place. A few of mine are sealed with screws, but the vast majority are welded together.

I took an x acto knife to a welded tape for a few minutes, but the results were poor. I tried smashing it with a hammer (destructive) and prying it with a screwdriver (messy) among other things.

Then, I found a vice in the garage. I considered wearing safety goggles, but the task proved to be less explosive than I imagined.

Yes, it was disappointing.

cassette tape anatomy

After extracting the cassette’s insides, I mapped out the guts in this sketch. Also, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a photo of some sketches through the center of a tape spool. I’ll be using the cassette’s tape as paint for one piece, and the plastic for a giant canvas for the second piece.

Am I the only one majorly excited about this?


  1. Erin wrote: