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Posts Tagged ‘found objects’

I’ve been doing a lot of sorting out in ‘Star Command’ recently (my loft / general dumping ground which is meant to be being converted to my new office!) – amazing what one finds during the course of such activity!

Amongst a million old back-up disks from various defunct computers, here are some old photos of what I think were my first ever welded sculpture attempts. Taken sometime in 2005, the photos are really small as I am guessing that was the limit of my digital camera technology back then!

The first set is of ‘DeerDog’, a hybrid animal that combines the characteristics of a dog and a deer! Made from all sorts of rusty iron parts (mainly old garden implements and a bits of bicycles) I was always really pleased with the ‘cheeky’ look of this little fella – friendly, attentive and playful!

DeerDog!

DeerDog!

DeerDog head on

DeerDog head on

Down boy!

Down boy!

The second set is a of a ladybug-like creation, made from an old wok, some cutlery, parts of an old cooker and a coat hook. I remember the wok was really hard to weld to successfully – I am guessing it is stainless steel? I’d be really interested to see it now and see if the shiny parts have rusted at all?

Bug!

Bug!

Bug close up

Bug close up

These were made and sited in the parents’ garden of an old friend I have unfortuantely lost touch with – I’d love to know if they are still there and, if so, how they look now!?…

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Anyone who knows me (or who reads this blog) will know that finding discarded items – in skips, on the street, in charity shops (not sure it strictly counts if you have to buy them?), donations from kind friends etc – is a major part of my life! It’s a strange yet fascinating lifestyle – sometime you go weeks without finding anything good at all, others yo u can hardly move without tripping over some piece of discarded treasure!

This week has been one of those lucky times – and here are just s selection of things that have magically turned up!

1 Steampunk Light Switch

Look at this beauty!! A wonderful gift from my mate Bru (see number 3 below for more donations from this excellent chap!), he apparently found this in his daughter’s loft some years ago. I have no idea what to do with it at the moment – it needs a bit of a clean up (looking at the corrosion in the first picture I wonder whether to leave it as natural patina, or give it a bit of a polish? Decisions, decisions!) but I think would be great as part of a steampunk creation, or simply as-is as an ornament:

'Steampunk' Switch - notice the corrosion!

'Steampunk' Switch - notice the corrosion!

'Steampunk' Switch - iPhone for scale

'Steampunk' Switch - iPhone for scale

2 Old Desk Drawers

I have just found this (and another smaller one) in a skip – clearly some nice old drawers from some kind of desk. I really like the rusty metal handles, and the overall look, feel and scale are really pleasing also. I think a new carcass (possible with a modern painted finish to contrast nicely with the old-fashioned look to the drawers themselves) would work really well. The drawers are very long – I think I might need to cut them down to a reasonable size to stand any hope of fitting them into my tiny flat!

I will add this to my (growing rapidly by the day) list of things to do/make:

Desk drawer with handle

Desk drawer with handle

Very deep drawers!

Very deep drawers!

3. Plumbing Bits

Again from good old Bru, here are some plumping bits that instantly gave me some ideas.

The copper pipe looks nothing special at first glance (I find lots of this kind of stuff all the time) but it is a really strange diameter? Normal pipe is 10, 16 or 22mm, but this is something else – in the 12mm range. Never come across it before, but I have been looking for ages to make myself a new bedside light – this might be just the thing?:

12mm copper pipe find

12mm copper pipe find

Will give it a go and post up the results. . .

Finally, here is a ball cock plus arm – again a common find, but I really like the whole shape of this one. I have made several lanterns from plastic globes and ball cocks, and it is surprising what a fantastic glow effect they make with just a tea light popped in (try it yourself on a dark night and you will see what I mean). I already have a hanging ball cock light I use whilst camping (light, portable, fun!) – it struck me that with this recent find I could make one that stands up on some sort of pole, maybe adjustable in height? Again, am going to give this a quick go and will post up results:

Ball cock plus arm for making into a lantern

Ball cock plus arm for making into a lantern

Anyway, it strikes me that I have so many of these ‘finds’, that it might be worth me adding a new Category to the blog specifically for them – just to make it a bit easier to keep track of them all! Hope you enjoy. . .?

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My friend Chris B had recently been coordinating an arts project in my area.

Working with a group of local students, the participants have scoured a local disused railway line (now used as a cycle track and general walking route) for lost and discarded items. Taking these back to base, they have then adapted them, wrapping them on various brightly coloured materials, and reinstalled them back along the railway.

Here are a few shots, taken on my phone so apologies for the less-than-fantastic quality!

Found Object Sculpture 1

Found Object Sculpture 1

Found Object Sculpture 2

Found Object Sculpture 2

Found Object Sculpture 3

Found Object Sculpture 3

Explanation

Explanation

More details on this and other projects can be found here:

http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/arts-and-entertainment/ST.aspx

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Here’s a strange little project I’ve quickly knocked up.

I’ve had the following elements (both found in skips here and there) hanging around for a little while now. . .

As Autumn hits here in the UK I was clearing the garden up a bit and realised I could really do with a shovel to help me clear rubbish from in between various beds, bushes etc, but that I could use whilst both kneeling down, and in some pretty confined spaces!

So, combining the two items below (with the help of some long bolts, a bit of hammering and angle grinding here and there) and voila. . . a useful large bladed shovel, yet with a very short handle:

Found objects

Found objects

Combined elements

Combined elements

Side view

Side view

The shovel blade needs a bit of cleaning up / rust removal just to make digging a bit easier, but apart from that it works seamlessly. It’s a curious little item, but then so is most of the stuff I now possess!  Remember the mantra – never throw anything away!!

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Here are a couple of mini ‘found object’ (objet trouvé) sculptures I knocked up the other day…

Mini 'found object' sculptures

Mini 'found object' sculptures

The one on the left is composed of things I found during a short walk along a bit of Torquay beach recently.

The one on the right is made entirely from bits and pieces I found in the office car park whilst having a cup of tea in the sun the other day during my lunchbreak!

I realise I forgot to include my trusty mobile phone for scale in the first photo, so below is another shot to show you just how small they are!

Mini sculptures for scale

Mini sculptures for scale

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I’ve not posted for a while as been a bit under the weather for what feels like weeks and not been doing anything very productive… just back from a few days R+R in the Lake District however, and feeling back on top form! 

The trip instantly got off to a good start as, during a very pleasant picnic stop on the shores of Coniston Water, I found the following bits and pieces lying in the lakeside gravel. The old gas cylinder (top right) is instantly going on the top of one of my rusty garden pole creations, as the concave bottom is perfect for a candle holder etc. The charred wooden stump (top left) will make an attractive base for something, and the small coil of lead-coverd wire (bottom right sitting on the rusty can bottom) will get melted down into something useful. My favourite find however is the old copper penny, with a fantastic verdigris patina (see below for an enlarged view) – far too nice to be made into anything clumsy by me, but a great thing to find on Day 1…

Finds from the shores of Coniston Water

Finds from the shores of Coniston Water

Verdigris coin close-up

In that this was all found from one tiny section of the lakeside, I’m now dying to know what else is lurking beneath the water just waiting to be found…!

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