The dragon sculpture took McAuley over 500 hours to create. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

The dragon sculpture took McAuley over 500 hours to create. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Central Alberta artist gains huge TikTok following with sculptures from thousands of recycled utensils

Based in Falun, Alta., TheeUpCycler only creates his sculptures from 100 per cent recycled materials

A central Alberta artist is taking off on the social media platform, TikTok with his art created from 100 per cent recycled materials.

David McAuley, also known as TheeUpCycler on TikTok, has recently discovered a passion for creating, and more so a passion for creating from used materials.

McAuley started his first big project, a polar bear and cub made entirely from recycled forks, in 2018. The sculpture took over 24,000 forks and 1,200 hours to complete. The sculptures base is made of 120 pounds of recycled concrete- collected from the previous location of the Wetaskiwin Peace Cairn after it moved to another spot in the city.

“This is just so new that I don’t even know what it’s going to do yet,” says McAuley.

McAuley started collecting recycled utensils from local second hand stores in Wetaskiwin County before quickly branching out to Leduc, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary and beyond.

“I started to hit the city and go through Goodwill,” says McAuley. “I cleaned out Thorsby a couple times, the thrift store there.”

“We put on a lot of miles just to get forks.”

He says that he could likely purchase the utensils cheaper in bulk by ordering from China, but firmly believes that one of the most important aspects of his work is creating from locally sourced, recycled materials.

Now that the polar bear sculpture is completed, McAuley is creating keychains and rings from the ends of the forks not used in the project, which he plans to sell.

Currently McAuley works in partnership with Goodwill for utensil collections and donations.

As of Friday May 21, 2021 McAuley as TheeUpCycler has 104.5 thousand followers and over one million video likes on TikTok.

One of McAuley’s most recent projects is a cutlery dragon commissioned from a woman in the USA for her husband’s birthday. The dragon is featured on the back of the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club jackets, which her husband is part of. The dragon took McAuley over 500 hours to create.

The dragon also includes recycled pieces of a motorcycle that belonged to her husband, and his US Air Force badge, which the woman shipped to McAuley in Alberta. There are 69 chapters of the motorcycle club, two of which are in Canada. The chapter based in Edmonton, Alta., traveled to Falun on Sunday May 16, 2021, to see the dragon up close in person.

McAuley says he doesn’t know what will be his next big project, but he knows that he will only continue to create and try to make art out of what was once discarded.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The light up polar bear and cub sculpture took over 1,200 hours to create. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

The light up polar bear and cub sculpture took over 1,200 hours to create. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Commissioned sculpture McAuley created for Goodwill St.Albert, designed to represent the City of St.Albert and Rotary. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Commissioned sculpture McAuley created for Goodwill St.Albert, designed to represent the City of St.Albert and Rotary. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

The Nam Knights Motorcycle Club checks out the dragon sculpture. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

The Nam Knights Motorcycle Club checks out the dragon sculpture. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced the province's reopening plan late last month and moved into Stage 1 of that plan Tuesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Town of Castor
Town of Castor meeting highlights for June 14th

The Town has appointed a returning officer for this fall’s municipal elections

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Members of Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue were out about the town on June 8th doing Self Contained Breathing Apparatus training and contributing to the month-long ParticipACTION fitness challenge for the Paintearth Choosewell team, which currently sits in third place in the province. 
photo submitted
Members of Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue were out June 8th doing Self Contained Breathing Apparatus training

They were also contributing to the month-long ParticipACTION fitness challenge for the Paintearth Choosewell team

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read