Archive for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Full metal artwork

February 21, 2012

Scrap metal is given a second life when Paul Lamb gets his hands on it.

Lamb, who owns an automotive business southeast of Tonganoxie, has metal art dating back about 25 years. But recently, he’s created pieces ranging from 10-foot palm trees to miniature Christmas trees about a foot tall.

For many of his creations, he uses old 30-gallon propane tanks that he’s acquired from landfills. Cut them in half and they become lady bugs. Intact, they are turned into jack-o’-lanterns and turkeys. The wheel of an all-terrain vehicle provides the base of a palm tree with scrap metal forming the trunk and leaves. Empty 1-gallon propane tanks are the “coconuts” for the palm trees.

He has sold some of his artwork, but Lamb also has given metal art to others as gifts.

“I get more pleasure from giving something to people and seeing their eyes light up,” Lamb said.

Another of his creations, the miniature Christmas tree, is made of 3/16-inch metal piping. He estimated it took about 15 feet of the piping to form the tree. Cabela’s at Village West displayed one of his trees a few years ago in its fishing department. Lamb decorated the tree with various fishing equipment.

“I just love to weld,” Lamb said. “I love to fabricate and weld stuff.”

His first piece of artwork was a decoration for his 1972 Chevrolet Nova SS he made in 1986. He fashioned the letters “SS” out of a coat hanger. More recent works use the same concept, but with the metal piping that is formed to spell names.

Lamb’s creative mind hasn’t been limited to his artwork.

He’s made a windmill with a old diesel semi fan blade and a tailgating grill made from a 16-gallon 1958 Schlitz’s keg. A wrench serves as the handle for the grill.

Lamb said he’s gotten more “serious” in the past two years with his metal art projects and finds that he does most of his work in between down times in his workday at the automotive shop. For instance, if he has to wait on a part for a vehicle, he’ll shift gears and work on his art in the meantime.

“I ‘d say it’s a stress reliever,” Lamb said. “I’m not one to just lay on the couch. I do that enough. It’s a hobby, for sure.”

Lamb’s business is at 17101 206th St. in rural Tonganoxie. He can be reached at (913)845-2377.

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