Bicycle Photography

Adventures in Upcycling: When Rubble Meets Found Objects and Recycled Bike Parts

Part 1: Finding Treasure

When the Grant Road widening project came through my neighborhood, I saw an opportunity: Rubble. And lots of it.

The pre-construction building demolitions did not disappoint. A quarter mile away from home, I found a treasure. It was one of those metal grid walls that had been used in a store display.

Cool! I’ll just trot home with that old grid wall and turn it into a garden trellis!

Yeah, right.

Darn thing was a major weightlifting challenge. I lost count of the breaks I had to take before I finally got home.

Part 2: A Different Kind of Display

After several years of serving as a ladder for climbing beans, I decided to replace my recycled trellis with a bigger one. When the welders came and installed their new trellis, they removed the old grid and leaned it against my house.

What to do with that old grid? Why not turn it into an art display?

I already had four Pennsylvania license plates that I found in my late mother’s garage. A local friend contributed three old Arizona plates that his wife wanted to get rid of.

Next challenge: Getting that grid wall onto my wall. Part of the solution came from Tucson Store Fixtures, 500 West Grant Road. They sold me four used grid wall mounting brackets.

Then there’s the mounting surface. Exterior brick wall of my house. Not a good surface for those brackets.

So, I had a handyman bolt a couple of 2 x 4’s to the wall, and then he attached the four brackets to them. Hanging the grid wall on those brackets? Easy. Not even a weight lifting challenge.

Part 3: Composition Challenge

Now, when it comes to art, my favorite medium is photography. And, if you’ve known any photographers, you can’t talk to us for more than a minute without hearing the word “composition.”

Composition. We’re obsessed with it.

And, right on my back porch, I was finding a perfect opportunity to practice those composition skills. The seven license plates? Gotta position them ju-u-ust so. I’m using cable ties to hang things, and they make precise positioning a breeze.

Okay, the license plates are installed. They represent my home states.

I’ve also bicycle toured through all 50 of the United States. Which means that this grid needs some bike parts!

A local bike shop owner contributed some brake rotors and other parts. (Thanks, Mario!) I found more bike parts at yard sales. And, of course, BICAS. A wonderful place for treasure hunters like me.

Oh, did I mention that I also like to fix things? Well, there’s plenty of room for used wrenches on this grid! A Columbia dealership emblem from Salt Lake City? Get up there!

And those two little bells? The ones that have been hanging on the flag pole bracket next to my front door? To the collage you shall go!

There. I said it. Collage.

Looks like this photographer is now a found-object collage artist.

The finished product.
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