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

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

(Black Press File Photo)
Sylvan Lake RCMP charge youth with weapons offences

The public helped to identify the individual involved in an incident at the pier earlier this month

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read