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Artist Spotlight: Life Recycled Wood and Metal Works' Ben Stinson

Life Recycled has amazing pieces of art that are made from recycled wood and metal! The pieces are unique and one-of-a-kind. They will definitely be conversation starters with their artistry and craftsmanship. Read more about the artist, Ben Stinson, and where you can see his work!

Ben Stinson has a BFA in Sculpture from Guilford College combined with a history of construction and woodworking. Ben believes art is a way of taking the past, recycling it, and making the memories more than what they are worth.  

Ben shares, "It (art) allows you to put your own life and abstract thoughts into an objective perspective, making the hard conversations easier and creating physical pieces to be interpreted differently by each person. "

In my art," he says, "I craft and shape living nature into figures, faces, and scenes that represent the peaks and valleys, the joys and traumas of life. The conversation is carried through my choice of medium from polished to weathered wood, which serves as a metaphor for how we all have to weather through trials, making art an imitation of life. I invite you to the conversation." 

We have a few Life Recycled pieces around our home. Ben also happens to be my amazing brother-in-law and has taken items from our spouses' family's past as we cleaned out their mom's basement and recycled and repurposed them into gorgeous and functional pieces for our home. When we use them, we are reminded of the memories shared and created with the items in each piece. Ben truly enjoys taking something and making it beautiful again!

I had the opportunity to sit down with the artist and ask about his work. Join our conversation below!

AG: What inspired you to do what you do?  

BS: I like art.  I started using wood because it was free and I didn’t want to spend money on materials, so I used what I could find in the woods.  Then, it became part of my aesthetic and I continued to refine it.

AG: Did you go to school for art? Where and when?

BS: Started with my Associate of Arts from Surry Community College and finished at Guilford College where I graduated in 2016 with a BFA.

AG: What’s your background experience in wood and metal for art?

BS: I was mentored by a master woodworker and sculptor, Roy Nydorf, who I met at Guilford College.  I learned from him and followed suit.  Before college, I worked a lot in construction, which gave me knowledge of wood and metal.  I learned to weld for for shits and giggles.

AG: Where do you get your supplies for the sculptures?

BS: All over–from the forest to the scrapyards to the local wood store

AG: How has your art changed over time?

BS: It’s gotten better. I continue evolving over time and I continue learning new techniques and skills.  Now, I do more carving and work with smaller pieces.

AG: What medium do you most enjoy working with and why?

BS: Old Wood found in the forest–I like turning it into something beautiful again.

AG: What’s your favorite piece of artwork that is not yours?

BS: Ghost Clock by Wendell Castle.  I first saw it in the Smithsonian when I was 18 and thought it was a clock with a cloth over it.  I dismissed it as a joke.  It wasn’t until after the trip that I discovered it was all carved out of one piece of wood.  

AG: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you.

BS: Healing from childhood trauma and getting a chance to “recycle” my life with newfound love and beauty in the world.

AG: What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

BS: Preschool teacher (15 years), limo driver, bus driver, handyman

AG: What memorable responses have you had to your work?

BS: One art teacher said, “When you were my student I just didn’t know what to do with you”.  A lot of people have been inspired by the emotion and my work and the message of healing

AG: What do you dislike about the art world?

BS: The political aspect–the hierarchy of the world

AG: What do you like about your work?

BS: It is constantly evolving

AG: What do you dislike about your work?

BS: The feeling that a piece is never truly finished

Want to know more?

Check out Life Recycled's website!

Get social with Ben at Life Recycled to never miss an update about his art and career!




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