What do you do with your old cutlery and other scrap metal? Well, you can hand it over to Matt Wilson and he will turn it into a feathered friend!
Wilson, based in South Carolina, defines himself as an upcycling artist. His God-given gift is visualizing works of art in things you and I consider metal scrap and other junk. This artist has an affinity towards feathered creatures since almost all his creations showcase birds of various types, ranging from woodland and predatory birds to exotic birds.
What drove Wilson to pursue this form of art? Born and brought up in Greenville, SC, he possessed a creative eye from a very young age. It wasn’t difficult for him to get enrolled in the first specialized art school in the state, the Fine Arts Center of Greenville. He went on to earn an arts degree in drawing and painting from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.
With such great qualifications and natural artistic talents, his change of medium came as no surprise. He became a metal sculptor. Taking up a welding position at Detyens Shipyards, he soon became its resident artist and quickly learned the intricacies involved in metal crafting and sculpting.
According to Wilson, recycled metal is resilient and difficult to work with. It not only requires a lot of patience and craftsmanship but also a creative eye to spot the perfect piece from the scrap materials to work with. Since finding such pieces is not easy, it took him years to collect all his materials. Today, he uses a variety of such materials, including driftwood and found objects.
Wilson’s art is not all about the materials, but also about his amazing visualization that turns a long metal coil into a graceful heron’s neck or silver forks into birds’ wings and feet or a slotted spoon into barn owl’s breast. Although Wilson only focuses on birds, none of his creations is similar. Some of his works are freestanding, while others are perched on metal pieces or driftwood. Even the eyes of some birds are replaced by glass ones to give them a real look.
Although Wilson limits himself to creating metal birds, he has created other creatures too, such as fish, lobsters, insects and octopus. It is no wonder that Wilson makes his presence felt in the social media, enjoying a fan following of upwards of 46,000 on Instagram and 25,000 on Facebook.
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