the GIANT robots & dinosaurs at this Tokyo tire park
(Check out Mars & Rita in the studio, tricking out a shopping cart, and posing with mayors and senators.)
Inspiration Green (a beautiful and killer site!) has a page cataloging all kinds of uses for tires in art and design. Here's just a little selection.
So by the time I finally found the celebrated Ray’s Tire Exchange here in town (under the Wells Avenue overpass) I already had a general idea of what I wanted to do. I was thinking of something a 40 lb kid could bounce and climb on, but also crawl under/through. Something that might get them dirty, but not that they were going to cut or strangle themselves on. Also, if I could make it look like some kind of monster, all the better.
While I was in getting the tires, Ash and Tom did a good job waiting patiently in the truck--partly because I told them this was about building something fun, and I think partly because it was an unfamiliar part of town, where they felt more inclined to sit tight than to get out and wander. Sure enough, Ray’s had heaps of them, and the perfect “whatever. over there’s the scrap pile. help yourself” attitude.
We took home 6 tires and, for now, this is what we came up with. I worked a few old bike tires into it too and, aside from those, there was no sawing or chopping of rubber or steel belts here. But if you’re looking for encouragement in this direction, here's a short, surprisingly soothing video about how to cut up tires for stuff like this.
Of course there's no guarantee that anything you make will stay that interesting for very long, especially when there's hanging laundry to play in; it gets hard to compete.