(Art and photo by Paul Loughridge)
When artist Paul Loughridge (AKA “Lockwasher”) looks at metal scraps, soda cans and abandoned electronics, he sees potential creatures and droids just waiting to come to life. He’s made whimsical robots, insects, people and other metal beings from junk we normally throw away. Most recently, he’s created Beer2-D3, a distant cousin of R2-D2 made from a mini-keg.
Starwars.com chats with Paul about his art.
Why did you decide to give R2-D2 a friend?
While rummaging around in my laboratory (garage) for parts I accidentally knocked a tractor headlight directly on top of the beer keg. The diameters of the two match perfectly. That’s when I realized the Force was strong with this one and fabrication commenced. Plus I was exhibiting at a large toy/collectibles show and wanted to have something special for all the Star Wars fans.
What is Beer2-D3 made from?
Beer2′s technical specs:
Head – 1945 chrome BLC utility light shell.
Eye - vintage movie camera lens w/adjustable spring-loaded aluminum casing.
Body – 4.7 liter “adult soda” mini-keg.
Legs – propane tank valve handles, brass spacers, drilled-out washers, pair of aluminum Lady Josephine shoe butler (wall-mounted shoe shine holders).
Feet/base – 3 mini bread loaf pans, lamp hardware and a 1/2″ precision drilled aluminum base plate.
+assorted nuts, bolts, screws and, of course – lockwashers!
What made you want to create robot art out of stuff people usual toss in the trash?
I enjoyed a childhood rich in mechanical mischief. My brothers and I were always tearing stuff apart, tweaking and rebuilding. I vividly remember going to the local dump with my dad and as he was busy off-loading trash from the ol’ station wagon me and my bros where scavenging around looking for bike parts, baby carriage wheels — you know, all the really good stuff. Looking back now it’s hard to believe dad allowed us to return home with our ill-gotten booty — “the reason we went to the dump was to get rid of junk — not bring it home!” Thanks Dad.
It was this early “creative-recycling” that must have struck a cord with me. To this day the idea entering my “lab” and cobbling together a found object sculpture is immensely satisfying.
What’s the most unusual robot you’ve made so far?
Most unusual, hmmm — that’s a tough one as they’re all completely different. I’d have to RecycleMan and Son is as strange as I’ve gotten to date. I created this large robot and son torso and entered it in a local sculpture competition. Out of 400 pieces submitted mine was one of 50 selected for the show. In the end I was delighted with a 3rd place award for my my Father/son-generational-recycling-message-piece.
Any last creative words of inspiration for would-be artists out there?
The creative process never seems to get old. Over the years I’ve amassed a two-car garage worth of yet to be assembled robot parts so it goes without saying that it’ll be a long time to go in a galaxy far, far away before I close the doors to my lab.
Thanks Official Star Wars Blog…May the Force beer with you.
Check out more Lockwasher creations here.