Since 1992 i have been sculpting welded recycled metals to create figure sculpture. I often passed up the bicycle sprocket when welding the metals together because of its pronounced patterns. Bike gears always seemed to stand out like a sore thumb when mixed into a bunch of other parts.
It wasn't until i was confident enough with my direct metal skill-set that i decided to use nothing but the sprockets. that way there would be a uniformity to the overall look and a cohesive integrity to the material parts i was using.
The first all bicycle sprocket welded metal sculpture i attempted was of a small horse. Using my usual direct metal welding technique I was able to heat, bend, form, cut and weld the gears in a way that worked.
Since then i have launched off on a whole series of small and large welded metal sculptures using exclusively up-cycled bicycle sprockets. Its sort of like Picasso's blue period but its not depressing or blue. Maybe ile paint my next bicycle sprocket sculpture blue and call it Picasso's dream.
When I left art school i was focused on sculpting the human figure. The only problem was, i didn't know how to do it or what material to use. I thought about all the different artistic mediums that would allow me to get started.
Clay was real easy to work with but i no access to a kiln and it was to fragile for larger works. Glass is a gorgeous material but aside from being fragile like clay i had no means to the tools let alone the money to get started. Bronze was a definite consideration but once again was cost prohibitive. Wood was ruled out because i didn't have a source or the equipment to gather large blocks of wood let alone a chainsaw to carve with. The only organic material left was steel and i could get that in abundance for free.
All i needed was a cheap welder, some basic tools and you can guess what i was doing Christmas day 25 years ago. Recycled Industrial scrap metal as a sculpture medium has been a fantastic and very expressive medium to sculpt with and it is my medium of choice as of today.
A blog on my sculpture and sculpting process.