All of us have seen, at one point or another, discarded wheel hubcaps on the roadside. Some of us have grumbled about people littering the road, while others may have grabbed them to bring them to a scrap yard. However, it takes tons of imagination to start collecting wheel hubcaps and turn them into stunning sculptures. This is exactly what Ptolemy Elrington, a British artist has been doing for the past twelve years.
The 43 years old artist works full time in his studio to create all kinds of sculptures from owls and dogs to dragons. For this he uses hubcaps from all types of cars: from BMW and Mercedes to Ford and Volvo. He also salvages wire from scrap yards and uses it to fix these caps together. Due to the fact that the materials are free, the artist charges customers who wish to commission his works only for labor – £75 per day. His most expensive creation was a dragon made out of 200 hubcaps that sold for £3,000.
“Hubcap creatures are made entirely from re-cycled materials. All the hubcaps are found, usually on the side of the road, and therefore bear the scars of their previous lives in the form of scratches and abrasions. I believe these marks add texture and history to the creatures they decorate,” explained the artist.
Talking about the way he first started this project, Elrington added: “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 armour. 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.”
The artist has about 500 hubcaps in stock. He uses between ten and 200 per model. What do you think of this intriguing way of creating sculptures?
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