Sunday, June 13, 2010

Accessing recycled timber and metal

One of my key aims in doing my sculptural or metal beating work is to use salvaged and/or recycled objects and material (including scrap and rusted metal and timber). It can add to the uniqueness of the pieces as once the recycled objects has been used then that is it - no mass production.

In the main I am able to access plenty of timber off cuts, recycled timber that often comes from people pulling down fences and salvaged timber when they are removing a tree from their yard. Just a few days ago I scored part of a truck of Bunya Pine tree that was being cut down and mulched by the owners of our energy grid. On request they left me with two one metre lengths about 350mm in diameter. It will be milled after a year of drying.

Getting metal is not quite as easy. I have found that the old laundry boilers have been a good source of copper; and the brass pot plant jardinieres of the 70-80s have been a good source of brass. Friends keep an eye out for rusted iron plate and copper, brass and rusted objects for me.
I spend a bit of my time cutting up boilers, jardinieres and other objects (e.g. trailer bases and mild steel fire places) to create flat sheets of metal to work with.

In the photos above you might be able to make out four different sheets of brass that have been cut from jardinieres. This metal has been used to make small meditation bowls and letters for the A Letter a Week 2010 art challenge.

I do also end up with a lot of scrap off cuts. I can use some of these as does Fiona but there does tend to be more than I can handled so I will have to think about other project uses for them. I used quite a few such bits recently making brass leaves for the font in the photo.


  1. Viewed Sculptures in the Park yesterday and just wanted to give feedback re how much I enjoyed the exhibition and in particular your "rusty stuff". You very rarely find such a quality exhibition in sympatico with it's environment.

    Congratulations to all involved!

  2. it is interesting to see and read about your sources and process-- rusty and weathered and scraps are wonderful

  3. D - The weathered, rusted and previous like dimensions are what facinate me and as I said in the post canb make each work one creates quite unique as the source material is unique. B

  4. I s'pose you collect metal scraps like i do paper... they could be useful or are too good to throw away or there's only a couple of bits left or have a wonderful idea for it 'someday', lol.

  5. S yes to the paper collection - Fiona collects the bits of paper as well - I just happen to have my metal piles outside. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.