Where does your Found Object Art come from?

When talking with people about my work, there is one question I get asked on a fairly consistent basis: “Where do you get these found objects?”

It’s a straightforward question, yet there is not a straightforward answer. All artists need medium with which to create, like a painter needs paint and a sculptor needs clay; I need parts.

Car parts, motorcycle parts, tractor parts, bicycle parts

Although there are many arts and craft stores of all varieties around the world for paints and clay, found object medium is often just that…found. As I’ve noted before, creating this type of art started with my family deciding we should not buy gifts for Christmas one year, but make gifts.

Amongst the bins and boxes of car, motorcycle and bicycle parts of past projects in my garage I “found” the medium I needed to create those pieces. I had quite a lot of parts, but not all of them where done with their usable life as they were intended, so soon the stash ran low and the hunting began!

Bicycle parts and more…

Still being very involved in the cycling industry myself, it has been easiest to obtain worn out bicycle components… as you may notice by their presence in my work.

But, without revealing my sources, many other long-term relationships yield medium. Such as my connections in the motorcycle industry, some in repair, some in salvage and some in building. Chains, sprockets, rods, springs and upon occasion I will even obtain an engine or two to tear down and harvest the goodies inside for medium.

Not all of the bits I get are two wheel based, I have friends in the automotive, 4×4 and tractor repair industries. These relationships account for a lot of the larger gears, chains and of course…those huge bearings! I love all the parts I get the chance to obtain, but tractors use some really awesome bearings. Since I like to make everything move, these are very welcome editions any time I get the opportunity!

The hunt for parts

The sum of my medium does not come from these sources alone. I still have to, and love to, go hunt for medium. I generally skip over antique stores…for multiple reasons. I enjoy garage and estate sales and the occasional flea market most. It’s like treasure hunting! So many times I’ve found a unique item while hunting and it’s sparked a completely different type of build!

I’m the found object

Andy Clark - Custom Metal ArtistOther times I’m the found object. I’ve had people hear what I do and bring parts to me. This is always exciting!

I’ve had people bring me everything from boxes of old nuts and bolts to helicopter turbine components! I’ve showed up at the shop to mystery boxes or buckets of random bits in the driveway, all of it’s potential medium.

You never know what you are going to find, or what finds you, and that is what makes found object art so fun and creative, everything could be medium!

Found Object Metal Art