Upcycle Progress: Bringing Steel to Life

I have had the idea of recycling steel in my mind as soon as the assignment was given, specifically by using it to represent living, organic things. I love the idea of making  something organic and alive out of something as cold and lifeless as steel. I soon landed on the idea of making trees out of old steel material.

I plan to use old steel shoulder bolts, carpentry nails, brad nails, and steel wool as the primary components of the artifact. The shoulder bolt will be the trunk of the tree, the nails will be its branches, and the steel wool will represent its foliage.

The manufacturing process will include the grinding of the bolt and nails using a table grinding wheel, the soldering or tack welding of the nails to one another and finally to the bolt, and draping/attaching the steel wool to the bolt-nail structure using either adhesive like JB Weld or just attaching bits of the steel wool to the nails using thin steel wire.

Depending on my ambition and/or available time this week/weekend, I may make a park-type scene with a scrap steel base.

I haven’t considered functionality to this point, so that is my current goal prior to manufacturing.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Maxfield Scrimgeour
    February 16, 2017 7:25 pm

    I really like the idea of bringing something so lifeless like steel to represent something that gives life to other things like a tree. This will be interesting to see how well all of these components stick together without welding. I’m looking forward to seeing this!


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