Upcycle Inspiration: Expended Bullet Casings

For my upcycle project I initially had a very hard time thinking about what material i wanted to use and what aesthetic i wanted to incorporate. To me choosing the material would some what point me in the right direction for what I wanted to make, and what aesthetics to use. I knew that I wanted to make something that incorporated many many small items of the same type or category to make something larger. Almost like a mosaic, using so many similar small items to make something bigger.

The image below is an example of a sculpture using the technique that I want to incorporate. When you first look at the creation you do not see rusty nails, however as you look more closely you can begin to see them. The uniformity of the material used makes for a very visually appealing creation.

Sculpture by: Will Ryman. 2012


I also wanted to make this project unique to myself, and use an “outside of the box” material. I wanted to use a material that I know I could get lots of, and that would add a unique aesthetic. It was actually a friend of mine who suggested that I collect the used brass casings from expended cartridges and use them as my upcycled material. I immediately knew this would be an awesome material to use and easy to come by. Many individuals at public ranges leave thousands of brass casings after they shoot, plus it gives me an excuse to go out and get some range time in! Picking up brass is also beneficial to the environment by getting those pieces of metal out of nature.

Sculpture by: Federico Uribe. 2016

As I gave it more thought I knew that someone out there had already done this, however I wasn’t going to let that stop me. The image above shows one of the ways someone has already used bullet casings for the use of art. This sculpture really adds some awesome texture to the sculpture and makes it pop in a very unique way. There are limitless avenues to peruse using this material, and I still haven’t decided on what I want to make with the casings yet.

Image result for sculpture made from bullets
Sculpture by: Mukesh Kumar Singh. 2011

This image above I think is a very interesting way this artist used bullet casings in art. The artist formed a sculpture of Ghandi using brass casings which to me is very ironic and I think the artist here is trying to get a message across. The fact that Ghandi was one of the most famous world figures who stood for peace, and many associate guns and bullets with violence is quite intriguing.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Nate!
    Real interesting idea for an upcycle project! There are so many avenues you could go down here. Have you given any thought to what kinds of casings you will use on your project? I think this is really where your creativity will come into play. Also what kind of adhesive or structuring material will you use to put the project together?

    • Nathaniel Wang
      February 2, 2020 8:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment. After picking up the casings at the range today the largest amount were 9mm, .45, and 5.56. That being said I definitely want to try to incorporate the different kinds in different ways. Some have been tarnished over time so the difference in color could add a unique look as well.
      For the adhesive most likely hot glue as it is cheap, easy to use, and lots to come by here in the ITLL.

  • I think this is a great material Nate! Do you have any idea what form your project will take (what might your sculpture look like?)

    • Nathaniel Wang
      February 2, 2020 8:47 pm

      Im not set on a certain object, but im thinking i might try to make a guitar. Just one of the ideas that popped into my head.
      Thanks for the comment!


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