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

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are looking for male responsible for an armed robbery at Super Car and RV Wash in Leduc.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Sabrina Wilde in front of a recently purchased monster truck. Submitted.
Thorsby business women a finalist for 2021 Alberta Women’s Entrepreneurship Award

Sabrina Wilde with Lone Wolf Mechanical is a finalist for the entrepreneurial award.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read