Recycled bicycle tyre sculptures by Mick Davis

Irish artist finds a new lease of life for dead tyres

Your old tyres might be worn out but they're still useful in the right hands – particularly those of Irish sculptor and keen cyclist Mick Davis, who's latest work brings a new lease of life to knackered bicycle rubber.

Davis recently made the switch to working with used tyres from his regular stone sculptures and has since produced several human and animal exhibits in the experimental medium. 'I was pleasantly surprised at the versatility of the tyres and how suitable they are for making human and animal forms,' he said.

To create his sculptures, Davis begins by welding a steel armature to which he then wire mesh. Sections of car tyres are then secured to the mesh and finally bicycle tyres of all varieties can then be screwed into the rubber of the car tyres.

'Diogenes' – Davis' first human form created with recycled tyres

Many different bicycle tyres go into the sculptures – with smooth, flexible road bike rubber being used for detailed work while hybrid and mountain bike tyres are put into service for areas that require more texture. All the tyres used on the sculptures are sourced from local bike shops, who'd normally dispose of them. 

Davis is passionate about recycling, and hopes that his work will help to try and change the way people look at used tyres. He's currently sourcing funding to pay for bills and equipment to produce a dozen or so pieces on the human form over the next 12 months.

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