Adding a Whimsical Creature made from recycled parts is a great way to grow your outdoor art garden! Many backyard gardeners are very eco-friendly people. They basically do not like to waste anything. They enjoy ‘the hunt’ while they look for other people’s discards so they can integrate them into their own yard decor. They will sometimes even recycle their old scrawny/last season plants and flowers to a less visual spot in their garden in order to avoid destroying a bit of Mother Nature.
Recycled metal art is a reflection of the artist’s personality and ingenuity and is limited only by their imagination. What may be trash to you or me is brought to life again in the hands of these eco-artists.
My Favorite Artist
One artist, my brother Jay, made many impressive pieces of yard art from recycled yard tools, bicycle parts, auto parts and other discarded junk left at the curb by his neighbors. By combining these castoffs and other so-called junk, he created yard art with moving parts, small and large sculptures, flying insects, and stately (sometimes scary) lawn creatures.
He sometimes used discarded tanks and drums to make his metal yard decor. He might paint them bright colors or leave them in their rustic state. He covered his outside gas meter with an old metal milk can with cutouts for the dials. His critters included dogs, flying insects and creatures, tall sculptures, funny animals and other happy greeters along walkways and garden paths. His bird houses, fences, shelves and replica ‘outhouse’ (including the half-moon) were all made from recycled wood and other discarded items. An old rusted garden tractor became the centerpiece of a flower garden with a sprinkler attached to one of the cutting blades.
What About Making Your Own Friend?
Another unique creation of brother was his own version of a Tom Hanks’ friend from the film Castaway – except this special friend has 8 arms and stands 4 feet tall! Each of his creations are always seen differently in the eyes of each new visitor to his yard. “It’s a flying mosquito!” “No, it’s a space robot!” My brother would just smile and know that he had won again as no two people saw his creations through the same perspective or vision. No one ever knew what prompted the new creature in my brother’s vivid imagination but each metal art creature took its’ own special place standing in a flower garden or hanging from a tree.
Make This a Family Project
I recommend that your whole family get involved in collecting the recycled parts and deciding how to put them together. Maybe it will become a free-form sculpture? Maybe a whimsical creature? Maybe a broken pot half buried in the ground. No matter what you decide, you’ll have lots of fun and will get lots of comments from visitors telling you how smart you were to recycle.
There are now so many eco-artists who are using discarded bike parts that it has become a genre of its own. With spokes and wheels, nuts and bolts and gears, a cycle may be the ideal raw material for recycled metal art. Just recently, I saw a recycled bicycle wheel converted into a ferris wheel bird feeder! What a great project for a family.
A large part of the appeal of recycled metal yard art is the weathered and sometimes rustic look of the various pieces. Rusted metal has an earthy, natural look and blends with the garden rather than making a loud statement. Hence many gardeners try to find pre-rusted metals that they can use in their yard art.
Adding some recycled metal art to your yard is a great way to grow your outdoor art garden. The imagination of the artists working with recycled metal has always impressed me – but I will always love my brother’s yard art the best!
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