Many of us have a trash drawer full of old keys, cutlery, tools, and safety pins at home. And while most of us would prefer to avoid sifting it, advanced artist Matt Wilson (aka The Airtight Artwork) from Carolina will jump at the chance. He uses discarded objects and scrap metal to create captivating animal sculptures.
Wilson started making bird sculptures in 2017, but his portfolio has now expanded to include creatures of all kinds. From a cat to a squirrel, each intricate piece presents the silhouettes of a real-life metal replica.
Wilson even created a praying mantis that looks like a futuristic robotic insect. It has a head, thorax, abdomen, and wings made from silverware and six skinny legs made from metal utensils with wheels. “It was a part that I spent a lot of time and detail on,” Wilson said. “I spent a whole month on this bug and am really proud of how it comes together.”
Wilson’s metallic insects and mammals are impressive, but the artist’s bird sculptures are his specialty. He can capture the personalities of all sorts of metal feathered friends, including woodpeckers, blue jays, and owls.
Wilson skillfully soldered the ends of the spoon and fork prongs together to create the plumage and often used curled metal wire for the bird’s talons. The talented artist was also delighted. Wilson recently launched a flock of 100 on this online store that sold out almost immediately.
As he continued to craft birds, Wilson’s style and process evolved over the years. He told us, “I’m studying many aspects of birds at once, which allows for a more cohesive collection.” Wilson has also begun mounting his metallic sculptures on wooden plaques handcrafted by his friend and craftsman, Jacob Kent. Wilson explains, “As birds evolve, I want their foundations to evolve as well.”
Wilson’s active work is all about valuing our environment and resources. “My goal as an artist is to create works of art that are unlike the works of art that people have seen while being able to recognize the identity of everyday materials, ” he said. “I just hope the sculptures will inspire others to appreciate the simple, neglected items from which my creations are born.”
Check out some of Wilson’s scrap metal animal sculptures below, and find more from his portfolio on his website.
Upcycling artist Matt Wilson creates captivating animal sculptures from scrap metal.
For his bird sculptures, Wilson cleverly used spoons and forks as feathers.
Every detail looks like a robotic creature that can come to life at any moment.