Arts and crafts aren’t traditionally associated with power tools, but modern artists are giving their tools a second lease of life. In the right hands, common DIY tools can produce large and dramatic art forms.
Having a standard set of DIY tools is essential for any household that wants to avoid unnecessary repair costs. Power tools save time and money, but their value extends way beyond humdrum uses. Artists of all varieties are using DIY tools to make their masterpieces; from sculpture and exhibitions to music and performing arts.
Scottish sculptor Iain Chalmers sculpts wooden creations with a chainsaw. He spends his summers travelling about Britain carving commissions and performing his craft at shows and exhibitions. ‘As long as you can fit it into a log’, he claims, ‘there is no end to what can be created’.
And Iain is not alone. There are growing numbers of chainsaw sculptors within the UK, creating surprisingly intricate pieces with the unusual sculpting tool. Noisy, perhaps, but creating these sculptures is a performance in itself. Ornate carving is achieved with what is often considered a large, clumsy instrument. Imposing sculptures, as well as chairs, benches and garden furniture, can be cleverly crafted.
Air Compressor Painting
Street art has seen a drastic rise in mainstream popularity over the past decade. Artists such as Banksy have taken graffiti, in the eyes of many, from vandalism to poignant social commentary. The spray painting medium now features in high brow exhibitions and in large scale projects.
Artist Craig Costello began his work on the streets of San Francisco. After growing success, Costello featured at New York exhibition spaces where elements of street art were prominent. A large white space was converted using an air compressor and high pressure hose; spraying vibrant paint colours on the canvas-like walls. Running and dripping in colourful tracks, the paint created organic patterns with an urban edge.
Technological advances have led to new, more efficient power tools on the market. Customers who once needed a dozen tools for a DIY project can now purchase combined tools such as the MultiMaster from Tool-NET. With the popular trend of creative recycling, artists are finding innovative ways of reusing unwanted tools.
But power tools are not limited to painting and sculpture. Recycled Percussion, with a successful Las Vegas nightly show, prove that power tools are a feature of the performing arts. The band, which has been performing since 1995, provides energetic and interactive shows. Power tools light up the stage with sparks and audience members play on recycled percussion instruments.