Creating an artistic masterpiece can be as easy as playing with a hunk of junk. Since I get so much joy out of my own recycled creations, I am passing my secrets along to you.
How to Make Art out of Junk
Obtain junk. Visit your local salvage yard, such as Gerson’s Used Building Materials, or scout for random debris in washes, alleys, riverbeds and on the side of Ajo Way.
Scrape and hose. Get a paint scraper, sand paper, metal files, scouring pads or whatever else you want to use to scrape off rust, dust and caked-on mystery substances. Hose down for good measure.
Allow to percolate. Throw the debris in random areas around your yard, making the place a virtual minefield for your pets, guests and your own bare feet. This allows the junk to dry in the blazing sun and, if it’s metal, soak up enough heat to leave searing burns if you dare touch it at high noon.
Leave the junk there for days, weeks or months until you are so sick of tripping over and looking at it that you either transform it into something or throw it in the ever-growing slush pile. Caution: pack rats love the slush pile.
Coddle and paint. Coddling is a highly technical artist term that refers to kicking, denting, snipping, wiring, welding and otherwise getting the item into some type of shape that works to the piece you envisioned during the percolation stage. You know what painting is.
Mark at some ridiculous price. The final step in your piece’s transformation is to mark it way up. Folks are not going to pay $5 for a lump of twisted metal. If you mark that same lump to $500, however, they will realize it is art and willingly shell out the cash to own such a masterpiece.
While I generally keep my prices reasonable, I will mark up items for this example. Busted PVC pipe: $379.50; Snazzy Totem Pole: $999.99; Dark Theater Shrine: $8,056. I’ll also let the slush pile go for $1.2 million.
Have you ever transformed junk into art?
Have you ever transformed art into junk?