Here’s short post showing some of the stages of my “first in a series” of Re-Tired Sculptures. I made this raven from salvaged bike tires that I picked up locally (Lincoln & Omaha). My goal is to create a series of work which shows that not all trash needs to end up in the landfill. In the past I have worked a lot with scrap metal and now I’m exploring other recyclable mediums. Like Rubber! …and I am really enjoying the process!
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Re-tired Raven made from bicycle tires

Salvaged Tires for Re-Tired Art Projects

First off, I tell you that handling bike tires is LOT easier than hauling scrap metal! AND I can fit a lot in the back of the Prius! 😀 (For those wondering, a Prius can also hold over 150 saws).

Re-tired Raven made from bike tires

I started off by making the wings and just LOVED the texture that I found on the old tires. I had a selection to choose from and picked the ones most suitable. To get the wings to bend and curve, I added a wire support.

Re-tired Raven made from bike tires

Here’s a look at my work space as I built the second wing. You can see some of the tools and adhesives I used. In the end, I decided to work with a 2 part super glue and a hot glue gun, as it was quick, effective and I have BIG box of glue sticks.

Re-tired Raven feet made from rebar

Next up was the feet – I’ve made quite few sets of bird talons. I use old rebar and weld the texture on. The toenails are old nails. Now I just had to build the body. 😀

I get busy and don’t always take photos while I work to show the various stages – like when I built the body for this raven. Here you can see a bit of the wood form that I carved and then attached the feathers to the wood with nails and glues.

Re-tired Raven made from bicycle tires

Here’s a shot of me attaching a wing. I had rods that could insert into the tubes that I added to the body, then add more feathers to blend it in.

Re-tired Raven made from bicycle tires

With most of the bird done, I had to add the head and beak. Which is always one of the last things to do since you have to layer the feathers from the tail to the head. I used an old 10 speed tire for the beak.
The beak and face would give the bird its personality, so it HAD to be done right! 😀

Re-tired Raven made from bicycle tires

Here’s the final face, I found the perfect glass eyes in my studio and modified them to fit.
Yeah, I know that the eyes are over sized, but HEY, they look really cool, right!!!! It also gives the raven a playful look and feel.

Below are a few photos of the first completed sculpture, “Re-Tired Raven

Re-Tired Raven Made from Bicycle Tires

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