Sculptures made from using recycled materials

We live in a time and age where it is good to be environmentally friendly, and recycling or upcycling old materials can make for some eco-friendly art. While most junk will end up in landfill sites across the world, some people are being creative and producing some fantastic things out of old rubbish.

The artist, Stuart Murdoch created quite a buzz when he built a scale model of the Clifton suspension bridge completely out of old cans of coca-cola. The project took a whopping 5000 cans and measures 24 foot by 6 foot. The model was displayed in the city museum for a period of 2 weeks before being demolished and recycled. It just goes to show that even basic, everyday items such as aluminium cans can be used in more ways than one.

In Udon Thani province, Thailand, A group of teenagers built themselves a fishing boat made completely out of old 2-liter drinks bottles. The boat took them 5 days to construct and used over 1000 bottles that they had found littering the roads and fields. Each bottle was attached to the next with the use of eco-friendly twine and a series of bolts connecting the bottles through the bottle tops. The boat is ingenious and provided months of service for the group before it was removed and recycled at a local plastic deposit depot.

The artist, Anthony Haywood is another who caused an internet frenzy when his piece entitled ‘ Broken Family’ Was revealed. The sculpture was created using only household waste and was built using elements such as old tv’s, tin cans, broken toys, ventilation piping and even an old mannequin. The piece stood at over 9 foot tall and made great use of the items about to be thrown away.

Another great material for recycling into sculptures and functional artwork are iron plates. These can be beaten, welded or cut and fixed to create some beautiful pieces that would be perfect for the garden. Iron plates can make for an amazing musical water feature where water streams drop on different sized iron plates and create a separate tone for each one. They can also be shaped and painted to create some beautiful growing pots for plants and vegetables.

Iron plates are a fantastic material to work with and are easy to come by ( ). The great thing about working with metals is that they are strong and durable and can combine both light and sound into any design. Of course, you could find iron to sculpt with, but I recommend a cheaper alternative such as aluminium which is easy to melt down and create whole new sculptures with. Many recyclable materials can be collected easily by asking friends, family and neighbours to collect for you. Glass is also a fantastic addition to an artist’s toolbox and can be used to create towers filled with lights that are submerged in water with flowers suspended in the centre.

Recycling doesn’t have to be a chore, it can become a fun hobby that can generate an income from sales.


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