Arts From The Parts

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Art From Recycled Bicycle Parts

An old bike can be a difficult thing to dispose of, sometimes they are in perfect condition and just require a new home or a new lease of life and therefore can be taken to a recycling centre to be rejuvenated and sold on, but other times, they can be worn down and beyond repair in which case it can be harder to know what to do with them. Some of us (my family included) are guilty of just leaving these old bikes in the back of the shed to be forgotten, these people, aren’t guilty of that at all and have used their creative flair to turn old disused parts into extraordinary objects.

Bicycle Wheel Clock

At first glance, it may not seem like a revolutionary idea to turn an old circular object into a clock, however, Etsy seller ‘pixelthis’ has created a whole range of whacky and wonderful wall and desktop clocks. Their store has items made from not just old Bicycle wheels but also recycled Bike Gears and each one is different from the rest.

They also offer clocks made from other recycled items such as old laptop hard drives and record player turntables. Each item makes a perfect gift for cycling and upcycling fanatics alike.

Hunting trophy hangers

I’m sure that many of us have come face to face with some form of a hunting trophy, be it a set of deer antlers hung above a fireplace or maybe even a full taxidermy head of an animal (creepy) but how many of us can say that we’ve ever seen a recreation made from old bicycle parts? In 1942, Picasso sculpted what has since been dubbed his “most famous discovery”, the sculpture consists of the seat and handlebars from a bicycle made into the shape of a Bull’s head.

Picasso once said to a visiting photographer, “Guess how I made the bull’s head? One day, in a pile of objects all jumbled up together, I found an old bicycle seat right next to a rusty set of handlebars. In a flash, they joined together in my head. The idea of the Bull’s Head came to me before I had a chance to think. All I did was weld them together… [but] if you were only to see the bull’s head and not the bicycle seat and handlebars that form it, the sculpture would lose some of its impact.”

Upcycle Fetish Hangers ©Andreas Scheiger

Since then, inspired by Picasso’s work, Austrian designer Andreas Scheiger created a series of hangers called ‘Upcycle Fetish’. A series that sees reclaimed parts mounted onto a wooden plaque to mimic the traditional hunting trophy. The hangers can be used to hang a range of items and even (if correctly fastened to the wall) an actual bicycle.

Bike Furniture
Steel S-2 Chair ©bikefurniture instagram

Since 1990, Bike Furniture Design (BFD) founder Andy Gregg has continued to refine this line of comfortable, quirky, and sustainable furniture. Influenced by his years spent riding bikes and inside bike shops, Andy set out on a venture to design modern furniture made primarily from recycled and upcycled steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber bicycle and motorcycle wheels, handlebars, and frames.

With a catalogue of items including chairs, tables, and wall decor. Their unusual yet stylish items are available to buy and would make the perfect gift for any cycling fanatic.

Bicycle Chain Chandeliers

From an art studio in South LA comes the mesmerising brainchild of Mexican-Brazilian artist, Carolina Fontoura Alzaga. Her ‘Connect‘ lighting sculpture series is recognized internationally, the series consists of extraordinary lighting sculptures made from bicycle chains. Each chandelier is made from an original raw metal which will naturally mature over time which will cause a change in appearance and create a living finish.

Three CS18’s ©facarostudio instagram

The Chandeliers are perhaps one of the most creative ways to utilize the most difficult parts to dispose of. While many people will just keep these stored away to be forgotten, some bicycle repair shops will take them off your hands to repurpose them. These glamorous designs are a far cry from their original source material, while most bicycle chains are left to rust, these have been lucky enough to find a luxurious new lease of life in a style that would look magnificent hanging from any ceiling.

“To me, this body of work is about transcending function and re-vindicating refuse” – Carolina Fontoura Alzaga

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