Tyres are finding new life as life-sized sculptures of animals courtesy of Blake McFarland’s visions.
The former baseball player and mixed-materials artist has created an animal kingdom of artworks which include a cougar that stands around 4 ft tall and 7 ft long; a tiger made from 4,000 shreds of Goodyear tyres; and pandas created using black and white recycled tyres.
Each sculpture uses strategically placed tyres which are woven and secured. The grooves in the tyres give a muscle-like definition to the animal sculpture, while the different treads and widths of the tyre material also provide texture to emulate the animals’ fur. An average sculpture uses around 100-400 tyres and takes up to a month to complete.
Blake McFarland’s most recent work and one of his finest is of a lion’s head, which makes use of hundreds of pieces of basketball leather to achieve the big cat’s mane.
The San Jose-born artist loves being able to be eco-friendly by using mostly recycled materials to make his distinctive art. Working with different materials including recycled ethernet cables and wires as well as tyres means that Blake McFarland gets to explore creative ways of using everyday items that would otherwise go to landfill.
Blake McFarland began his art career painting ocean scenery and landscaped with acrylics. While he was a pro ball player for the Blue Jays, he would paint during the off-season. And it was in 2012, that he found the medium that he was truly meant to master and work with.
In an interview with The Hardball Times, Blake McFarland said: “In 2012 during the off-season, my wife [Jessica] and I were in St. Louis and we drove by this playground where there were a bunch of tractor tires stacked up in a dragon-snake-serpent design. It sparked my interest. Tyres were not being used anywhere – you see them on the side of the road all over the place – and maybe it’s something to work with. From there, I had to teach myself that entire thing, too, which took some time.”
The former baseball player retired from the game last year following a shoulder injury, and is now a full-time artist.
Images Source: Blake McFarland Facebook page
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com