The world of “found art” is a fascinating one. Many people have made amazing art collections by gathering things that other people would think of as trash, and turning them into stunning sculptures and works of art. There are many things that count as “found art”. Some people collect driftwood and dry it out, paint it, or frame it. Other people convert antique or retro electronics into storage and ornaments, and still more use their skill with a welding rotator to convert scrap metal into art.
Eco Art for All
Eco Art is a rapidly expanding niche. One interesting seller of eco-art is the Wonder Welders project. This project is run by a group of disabled people in Tanzania. The welders are all people who suffered Polio infections during their childhood, and have been left with long term disabilities. A local welding expert taught them how to use welding equipment, and they now make small sculptures out of scrap metal.
Over the last couple of years, Wonder Welders has grown into a self-sufficient enterprise. They sell a range of hand-made products (some metal, some wooden, and even hand-made recycled paper), and also produce custom orders for international buyers.
Found art doesn’t have to be limited to small scale pieces. There are many people that make huge sculptures and garden ornaments out of scrap metal, damaged vehicles, and other large items.
While many of these sculptures are large, that does not make them any less intricate. Artist Michael Leeds, for example, made some found art bikes out of miscellaneous items that he collected over several years. One of the bikes that he made was actually put together out of old buggies that were destined for the scrap heap. Michael Leeds’ resourcefulness and creativity is amazing. He has a talent for finding exactly the right use for each part to create realistic, yet quirky looking vehicles.
Another amazing artist is Joe Pogan. Pogan uses his skill with welding equipment to combine various scrap metal items ranging from spanners to old keys, making found art animal sculptures out of them. Each piece uses a huge number of different metal items, but the end result is breathtaking. From a distance, the sculptures are lifelike and convincing, and when you get closer, the level of detail and the number of parts that went into making each one will astound you.
You don’t have to own a welding rotator, or be particularly skilled in DIY, to do your own upcycling. Some paint, patience, and a basic collection of tools is all you need to turn old scrap items into interesting and attractive decorative items for your home.
Whether you choose to turn a vase into a lamp, convert damaged bowls into plant pots, or do something a little fancier, upcycling is a great start on the path towards creating your own found art.
If DIY isn’t your thing, then you can always buy items on Etsy, eBay, or direct from your favourite supplier.
This post was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Westermans International who supply machinery to welders the world over. Image courtesy of qsl.net
A Mesh company uses modern technology and social networks to provide people with goods and services without the burden and expense of owning them outright. A new book by Lisa Gansky, “The Mesh” will educate you as to how that is being done right now by over 6722 companies in over 1282 cites across the globe. Social Media plays an organizing role, using interactive platforms to share and gather information on the resources that are available to share. Read more
A new study by IBISWorld, titled Sustainable Building Material Manufacturing in the U.S. has some very encouraging news for the green building industry. The Sustainable/Green Building segment of the market was one of the first to make a comeback as early as 2010, when the industry rebounded with strong growth. Americans concern for environmental sustainability was reflected in their buying habits, and growth for 2012 is expected to reach up to 30% (http://www.green-buildings.com/content/782470-green-building-recession-proof-sustainable-materials-manufacturing-continues-exceptio)
Much of this activity was in retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, according to the United States Green Building Council, so we can most likely expect to continue seeing this trend improve. And when new construction picks back up, we will work to ensure that that the green building momentum will take a new life in that sector too, after experiencing this remarkable growth in the slow economy.
image courtesy of IBISWorld
More Green Building News
Make it Green: Wood is the Natural Green Building Choice
There has been plenty of debate recently about what exactly is the greenest material that can be utilized within the construction industry. Naturally (no pun intended), wood is a prime candidate when it comes to contenders for this coveted spot. There are plenty of reasons that wood has been highlighted as one of the main competitors for this particular crown. Not only can it be a renewable resource, but it also actively removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; which can be useful in counteracting the ever-accumulating greenhouse gases which serve to threaten the environment. Read Full Article (via) :http://greenbuildingelements.com
So Which Trees are Green?
Did you know that only 8% of the world’s remaining rainforest is protected under international law. Read more
Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, and helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect. There are two types of green roofs: intensive roofs, which are thicker and can support a wider variety of plants but are heavier and require more maintenance, and extensive roofs, which are covered in a light layer of vegetation and are lighter than an intensive green roof. Read more at wikipedia
Solar roof shingles are creating a lot of interest in this niche. With zero carbon building codes set to become the norm in the UK and Europe within the next four years, homeowners and construction contractors alike are seeking building and roofing solutions that are environmentally friendly and effective. And to meet this demand, research has been booming into the feasibility of harnessing solar energy through roof shingles.
Solar roofing shingles were conventionally used to deploy photovoltaic cells that transform the sun’s energy into electricity, which would be used to power lights, fans and other appliances in the home. Any surplus current generated could be stored in capacitors for later use, or even returned to the power utility’s grid in exchange for credits or cash.
The older design of solar shingles left much to be desired. Outsized shiny sheets of metallic shingles detracted from the building’s appearance, making many homeowners think twice. Not any longer. Modern solar shingles have the photovoltaic elements seamlessly integrated into their design, making them virtually unnoticeable and thus permit aesthetically appealing homes to be energy efficient….More at GUEST POST: Solar Shingles = Innovation In Green Roofing
What about a Rubber Roof? Rubber roof shingles are an innovative roofing material that saves home owners money and saves the environment. Made from recycled tires, these roofing shingles are durable, dependable, and more eco-friendly than ordinary wood or slate. More at Revisiting Recycled Roof Shingles Made from Tires
From your floor to your roof, there are so many ideas for building green, we would love to hear your favorite, share yours with us on facebook.