Artist Turns Discarded Silverware and Scrap Metal Into Striking Animal Sculptures

Scrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt Wilson

Many of us have a junk drawer at home, full of old keys, cutlery, tools, and safety pins. And while most of us would rather avoid sifting through it, Carolina-based upcycling artist Matt Wilson (aka Airtight Artwork) would jump at the chance. He uses discarded objects and scrap metal to create charming animal sculptures.

Wilson began crafting bird sculptures back in 2017, but his portfolio has now expanded to include creatures of all kinds. From a cat to a squirrel, each elaborate piece captures the forms of its real-life counterpart in metal. Wilson even created a praying mantis that looks like a futuristic robotic insect. It features a head, thorax, abdomen, and wings made from silverware, as well as six spindly legs made from upcycled metal utensils. “It's a piece I've poured a lot of time and detail into,” Wilson reveal to My Modern Met. “I dedicated a whole month to this bug and am really proud of the way it came together.”

Wilson’s metal mammals and insects are seriously impressive, but the artist’s bird sculptures are his specialty. He’s able to capture the character of all kinds of feathered friends in metal, including woodpeckers, blue jays, and owls. Wilson cleverly welds together spoon heads and fork prongs to create plumage, and often uses curled metal wire for the bird’s talons. The talented artist is extremely prolific, too. Wilson recently released a flock of 100 birds on this online store that sold out almost immediately.

As he continues to craft birds, Wilson’s style and process has evolved over the years. He tells us, “I'm working on multiple aspects of the birds at once, which allows for a more cohesive collection.” Wilson has also started mounting his metallic sculptures on wooden plaques that are handcrafted by his friend and fellow craftsman, Jacob Kent. Wilson explains, “As the birds evolved, I wanted their background to evolve as well.”

Wilson’s upcycled work is all about valuing our environment and resources. “My goal as an artist is to make artwork unlike art people have seen, while at the same time recognizable in the identity of everyday materials,” he says. “I only 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 charming animal sculptures from scrap metal.

Scrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt Wilson

For his bird sculptures, Wilson cleverly uses spoons and forks as plumage.

Scrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt Wilson

Each detailed piece looks like a robotic creature that could come to life at any moment.

Scrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt WilsonScrap Metal Animal Sculptures by Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Matt Wilson.

Related Articles:

Artist Turns Unwanted Scrap Metal into Magnificent Bird Sculptures

Upcycling Artist Turns Scrap Metal and Discarded Objects Into Lifelike Animal Sculptures

Artist Turns Scrap Metal into Delicately Crafted Insect Sculptures

Artist Turns Nuts, Bolts, and Scrap Metal Into Life-Size Animal Sculptures

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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