Thursday, August 04, 2011

wide conqueror

If you’re scheming something to do with old tires, looking for ideas and examples, there’s a fine line between inspiration and intimidation. Considering what people have been doing with spent tires, there’s plenty to envy in the way of resourcefulness and craftsmanship.

the GIANT robots & dinosaurs at this Tokyo tire park

there's Dr. Mars J. Läns’ Earth Tire Foundation

(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.

And, finally, there's Go Play!’s fabulous open-source playground movement. If you like this, you may also want to visit Arcady's playscapes blog.

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.

related: clothesline, toys, edward burtynsky


sharpandkeen said...

Your tire monster is awesome! I always loved the huge kennecott truck tires in Copperton Park. (Have you been there? It's a great playground. You should go next time you're in town.) At first, I thought the picture of the sand serpent came from Abita Springs, LA because I remember seeing one there, too. But I checked my archives (blog) and discovered it is different. I love the idea of lots of tire monsters out there. (And I love the sushi sculpture. I tried to find more of their work, but I couldn't figure out where their sculptires page is.)

english said...

yes, Katie! I remember the GIANT tire monument that you can crawl inside up at the Kennecott mine.

and I love that big tyre wyrm pic you linked. (ahh, the spice!)

I found the sushi roll on another site that just linked to the ETF.
speaking of sushi, you seen this?