Using hubcaps salvaged from ditches and scrap yards, one British artist is crafting incredibly artistic animal sculptures. Since his initiation into the genre of re-purposed art back in his college days, Ptolemy Elrington has been carving one masterpiece after another. Some of his most impressive pieces include a 10m long dragon, a dolphin, a wolf and even a squid.
A Brighton resident, Elrington has spent the last twelve years transforming abandoned car parts into stunning and richly detailed sculptures. His subjects mainly consist of marine creatures which, he believes, are best represented by the shiny, silver color of the hubcaps. Besides using found objects as his chief artistic medium, Elrington also makes use of wires, rescued from scrap yards, to attach the different parts of his sculptures. Talking about his creations, the artist says:
I like to work with reclaimed materials to show that what is one person’s junk is another man’s treasure…When I finished college I stayed in Bradford and lived near a sharp bend where cars often lost their hubcaps. I started collecting them from a ditch at the side of the road and planned to turn them into a suit of armor. But I noticed they were quite marine-like and could be turned into fish or other sea creatures – the Ford Ka hub cap looks like a shark’s mouth, for example.
One of his most expensive pieces, sold for approximately $4,700 (£3,000) is a 10m long dragon that he built using 200 hubcaps, retrieved from Ford, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo models. Because the sculptures are made from found materials, prices only include the labor charge for constructing the pieces. Most of Elrington’s smaller works, therefore, cost only a few hundred dollars. He says:
I never buy the hubcaps – I either find them at the roadside or am passed them by family and friends in the UK…Hub caps are made from different types of plastic. Some are brittle; others are more flexible and suit different needs. The caps from top brand cars like BMW and Mercedes are particularly good because they can be flexed more and do not snap.
However, one of the major challenges with this particular art form is the difficulty in working with scale. While creating miniature pieces is in itself a tough job, when it comes to really big sculptures, there is a great possibility of them looking merely like a heap of hubcaps. Nevertheless, Elrington continues to enjoy his work and is truly optimistic about the future. He says:
I’m now working full-time mainly doing commissions for councils and companies. I also did one for the environment agency. Recycling has become more mainstream these days and companies and councils like my style.
Via: Daily Mail