OKC Sculptor Turns Military Metals into Recycled Art
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – Need to rid your garden of pesky gnomes or just want a fun new friend for your yard? A sculpture is turning military metal into funny, recycled art.
At the Oklahoma Arts Festival one of the highlights is an artist known for using old recycled military metals and turning them into pieces of art.
Fred Conlon started as a potter 12 years ago, but after building his first metal piece, he knew he was into something big. His recycled metal sculptures include little monsters known for ridding your yard of gnomes and pink flamingos.
Conlon said while he feels blessed that he is able to do something he loves and his grandfather deserves the credit for his success. His grandfather was a World War II veteran who was attacked at Pearl Harbor.
"I remember my grandfather's words ‘War happens quickly, peace on the other hand moves slowly.' And all the army helmets look like turtles, so I thought why not make a turtle out of an old army helmet to bring things full circle of war happens quickly, peace moves slowly," Conlon said.
The artist said he is constantly visiting Army and Navy surplus stores for his recycled material and he gets a lot of the nuts and bolts he uses from the mining industry.
"I am taking something once used in combat and turning it into a more peaceful item. Giving it a second chance if you will," said Conlon.
Conlon's art is his full-time job using it to support his family, including his wife and their four children.
"I'm flattered people like my stuff as much as they do, but again it's nothing I feel like comes from myself but my grandfather and a higher power has allowed me to do or inspired me to do," he said.