Langleyites fashioning trash into art

A shark chewed through the competition to take the People’s Choice Award at the Upcycle Design Challenge at the Langley Arts Council building.

Michael Pawluk’s winning great white shark was one of 29 entries from members of the community in the April 22 show, the second annual contest to showcase reuse and revamp of materials.

A large crowd view the submissions and voted.

Pawluk’s woodworking subjects are typically wildlife.

“I just put them on my mantlepiece,” he said.

The wood comes from pine shipping crates he is able to pick up from work.

The shark took about 20 hours to make but it took others cajoling him to enter the Upcycle Design Challenge.

Judges also chose three winners based on creativity, functionality and use of materials that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

Jim Finlay won first place for Farmer’s Roost, his rocking chair made of a tractor seat and other metal parts ($500 prize). Finlay won for his iron man hiker and dog last year. Natasha Vanderzwan was second with her tugboat made from scrap metal ($200).

 Shirley Fralick won third for her framed glass art using her grandmother’s glass dishes ($100).

Vanderzwan was a first-time entrant who normally works in stained glass.

Her husband collects scrap in his off hours, and she raided his scrap pile, but did name her vessel in honour of local scrap dealer MTI.

A licence plate gave her the lettering to call the boat MTI but the inspiration came from the hull which was fashioned from a tool box.

During construction, her daughter’s reaction was: “it looks like trash.”

Her win gets her a $200 prize, which should silence any jibes from her husband or kids.

“He’s forgiven me for raiding his scrap pile,” Natasha chuckled.

The entrants ranged in age from high school to seniors.

“As a solid waste department, we really appreciate the message that’s being given out here,” said Krista Daniszewski, the solid waste coordinator with the Township.

Upcycle was a partnership between the Township and the Langley Arts Council.

The display continues to the end of the month. They must be picked up by their makers by May 3.

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