A 29 year old Artist living and working in Lincoln, UK
Last year I went through a pretty hardcore papercraft stage, as you may remember (tiny paper cuttings, wherever I went).
As my birthday came and went this year, I found myself with more craft sets to tackle (thank you those who know me well!). There was one which stood out for me as a new challenge: one that needed to be assembled from sheets of steel.
I know what you’re thinking: that’s a good way to lose some fingers… and also, how is that going to hold together? I won’t be welding anytime soon.
Well, this is when I figured out that tweezers are a metal-crafters best friend. Especially when the kit has a tab and fold system so no adhesive is required, (and you’ve already cut yourself just trying to push out the pieces). “SHOW US WHAT IT IS!” I hear you cry…
It happened to be a very strong but tiny and intricate Millennium Falcon on a stand:
I now felt like a metal Jedi!! I figured I could now manipulate metal however I wanted, especially if it were strong but light. The perfect material to use for custom projects would be aluminium cans.
Now, I had seen cars and planes made from coke cans before… but with some further research I found that all sorts of animals, machines, comic and game characters could be made with different colours and parts… all you need are lots of empty cans!
With my first empty can, I attempted to make a simple beetle:
In doing this, I realised a number of things: you need small sharp scissors to cut the tiny parts, you need to score the pieces so they bend in the right places, and you need a glue with heat application to actually make it hold! Also, if you try and manipulate the metal too much it WILL snap.
Not the neatest looking end product, but I learnt a lot…
Right, after making one simple thing with many mistakes I was clearly ready to tackle something extremely intricate:
After making the boots, I must admit… I was ready to quit. The metal wouldn’t keep shape and kept breaking the glue hold, bending back to the original shape. Cutting the metal hurt my fingers in so many ways (both holding the sharp metal and hard pressure on the scissors) and I did NOT want any more energy drinks!
Since the upper leg parts were already cut though, I continued… and luckily found it much easier as I went along, learning that tongue and groove slits and glueing from the inside made it much sturdier and neater.
Soon progress was fairly speedy and he started to take shape…
After 2 days of working on him from scratch, he was finally finished! Nananananananana
The good fellow who bought me the Millennium Falcon set, a Mr Rick Nunn, was very impressed and kindly did a shoot with this canned crusader of mine. For this I made a Bat-signal out of tin foil!
The final photo looks, as Rick would say, RAD. Thanks, Nunn.
I’m now thinking of what to make next. If you have any ideas/suggestions, leave a comment below!