21 Nov Upcycling Earthmoving Parts in Metal Sculpture
Earthmoving to Sculpture: Why Tim Loves Repurposing Old Machinery Parts
Thirteen years ago metal sculptor Tim Read ran a building and earthmoving business. In spare moments he tinkered with creative projects but a cracked skid steer loader bucket changed everything. Tim bought a welder to fix the bucket and look what happened.
“Discovering metal sculpture from a background in construction and earthmoving often has me working with materials related to that trade, and I often find myself using excavator chain and parts in conversation to help people understand this core part of my business.
Excavator track chain is part of the undercarriage of an excavator. It is largely unseen and, for years and years, it churns away doing its job out of sight. At some point a mechanic decides that it is worn out, needs to be removed, and sent off to be recycled as scrap.
As an artist, I get to take that worn out piece of steel and not just give it a new purpose, but I give it a life where it becomes part of something greater and is seen for its strength and beauty which is only enhanced by the years of wear that soften the edges and make it more malleable and workable.”
A metal fire pit made from an excavator track chain
Made using an excavator track chain and a part from an approximately 25 ton excavator trench roller as the base. The flanged edge 4mm thick spun pit throws a beautiful heat, from a bed of coals with a couple of people, to a roaring bonfire for a party of revellers. Finished off with a flat lid so it can be used as a sculptural table over summer.
Trencher Ice Bucket
Made from 100% reclaimed materials including a 5-tooth bucket, a track tensioner and a section of screw pile.
The latest version of our trencher ice bucket has been made for a client who owns and operates a large drainage company with lots of big earthmoving machinery.
Trencher Bucket Fireplace
Reclaimed when the steel on either side of the teeth started to rip.
It’s been built in with 10mm plate steel and then had the excavator track pads added that speak further to its heritage. The rips in the steel have been filled in from the inside to retain the gaping cracks on the outside without letting the smoke out. It was a heavy, dirty job cutting the fire window and the flue opening that was 6 cm thick. It burns beautifully and radiates heat from all sides. Weighs approximately one ton and when purchased it can be loaded by machine at the studio and machinery will also be required at the delivery end.
Anchored in the Storm
This piece is made from reclaimed steel plates that form excavator tracks and it’s taken a while to get it ready for sale.
I couldn’t get rid of the image in my head of how good it would look on fire and I finally got the right weather and the time to stuff it full of the local scrub and light it up. I’m glad I was patient as it didn’t disappoint. Gee I have a fun job!
The Cattle Gateway
Mild steel rod and copper flowers cut from an old water tank.
Another gated entrance out on the sculpture trail using a large reclaimed excavator track chain and two reclaimed gates from the old Dandenong stock yards combined into one tall gate. It would be a ripper entrance to a house or garden area especially with custom fence or hedging abutting either side.
A metal sculpture commission from a Kiwi client.
He is 100% reclaimed material including metal spinnings, horse shoes, Toyota gearbox parts, excavator bucket teeth, tractor rake parts, bits of quarry mesh and an old 22 caliber target rifle barrel.
Hot off the welding bench.
100% reclaimed steel including an excavator ram, a manual bench-mounted drill wheel, a compactor spring and plenty of other bits from the boneyard. It would work well with a simple letterbox conversion for the right property.
Drops Like Stars
Made from a scrapped bus stop and excavator parts this piece stands tall and has a gentle presence.
A reclaimed railway signal lens is set off by individual coloured strips of glass fused together by glass guru Rob Hayley, and when the light hits it it’s stunning.
A brutalist sculpture from reclaimed material that contemplates the distorted focus of a world struggling to work together on solutions to prevent disaster through climate change.
Spherical Aberration is an optical problem that occurs when all incoming light rays end up focusing at different points after passing through a spherical surface. Because of this, Spherical Aberration can affect resolution and clarity, making it hard to obtain sharp images. Made from 90% reclaimed material including a huge glass Japanese fishing float that has been bobbing on the ocean after being discarded as small fishing villages have no fish left to catch.