British artist Ptolemy Elrington is such a staunch believer that one man's junk is another man's treasure,- that he makes a living from it. Working from his studio in Brighton, England he spends his days making beautiful sculptures from discarded car hubcaps.
Ptolemy's creative vocation began quite accidentally. He happened to live in a neighborhood in Bradford, England, which had a road with a very sharp turn, where cars often ended losing their hubcaps in the ditch near the roadside. He started to pick them up, hoping to collect enough to make a suit of armor. However, he noticed that they had interesting marine-like shapes, which could be turned into realistic-looking fish and other sea creatures.
His first scultptures were created for gifts to give friends and family. However as more people asked for them, Ptolemy realized that he had a business. Now seven years later, he is working full-time on his creations, mainly doing specially ordered commissions for companies and government agencies.
Since he still gets all his raw materials free from the junkyards and only charges for his time, his sculptures are very affordable. His most expensive creation to-date is the dragon pictured above, which was made from 200 hubcaps and took him a month to build. He sold it for $5,000 USD. His smaller sculptures which include lizards, toucans and flies, cost between $400-$1,000 USD, quite reasonable for such stunning creations.
Ptolemy, who always has about 500 hubcaps in stock, uses between 10 to 200 for each of his creations. While he can convert a hubcap from any car model into a piece of art, his two favorites are Mercedes and BMW, which are very flexible and do not snap. He also likes the hubcap from the Ford Ka, (similar to the Ford Fiesta), which resembles a shark's mouth. More of Ptolemy's creations can be viewed on his website at www.hubcapcreatures.com