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Scrap sculptures

By Meghan Boyer

September 2010 - How long does it take to construct a metal dragonfly sculpture from scrap metal or a detailed chess set complete with table and chairs for playing the game? For participants in the annual Old Town Scrapfest competition, Lansing, Mich., the answer is two weeks. The competition challenges participating teams to create art out of metal scrap and recycled materials found at Friedland Industries, Lansing, Mich., a provider of scrap processing and recycling services.

Scrapfest, which began in 2009, "definitely grabs a whole gamut of folks," says Brittney Hoszkiw, executive director for the Old Town Commercial Association, Lansing, Mich., which organizes the event. "Last year was a little more amateur than this year. This year, we had welding students and machinists, sculpture artists and graphic designers," she says.

Sixteen teams competed in June to win a cash prize during the competition. They had one hour at Friedland to collect up to 500 lbs. of material. Overall, the teams collected more than 7,200 lbs. of scrap metal. The teams had two weeks to construct a sculpture made from only the materials collected at Friedland. The finished sculpture could not exceed 6 ft. by 6 ft. by 10 ft. in size and 500 lbs. in weight.

Sculpture assembly
The teams are allowed to use multiple assembly methods, including welding, brazing and bolting. "It's definitely anything from welding to forging and a lot of wiring, and I didn't see any hot glue," but that doesn't mean it wasn't there in 2010, says Hoszkiw.

Teams must consist of at least one person but can not have more than five official members. However, anyone can help the teams with their sculpture during the build time. Materials used to assemble the structure do not have to come from Friedland, though they only can be used for the structural integrity of the sculpture and not for artistic purposes.

The 2010 first-place winners constructed a dragonfly sculpture, and the second-place team created a sculpture called "Timeless Dancers." A metal chess set won third place. Local artists and public figures judged the sculptures, which were on display and auctioned off at the Festival of the Sun[www.festivalofthesun.com], Lansing, Mich., in late June.

"You definitely could see the quality of the pieces jump from the first year to second year, both in the caliber of artists participating and also in the time they had to construct something. Most of them have full-time jobs," says Hoszkiw. "For folks where this is what they do for a trade, putting the size parameters on or only using things they find in the yard that day, it challenges them."

The 2010 winning team, which also won in 2009, finds creative ways to use different materials, she says. "They may take fencing or forks or a toaster oven or something and recreate it to be something completely different from its former use based on its shape," says Hoszkiw. The team in 2009 won with a sculpture called "Scraposaurus," a 260-lb. dinosaur created from scrap metal.

Scrapfest is a fundraiser for the Old Town Commercial Organization, and all proceeds from the event benefit public art projects and the revival of Lansing's historic Old Town neighborhood. FFJ

Sources

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IRONWORKERS

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Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

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PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

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SecturaSOFT

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TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

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Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

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MTS Sensors

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Bradbury Group

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Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

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Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
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Automec Inc.

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Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

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Cincinnati Inc.

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Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

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Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

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Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

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