Pots of gold
Eckart (left) and one of his creations.
Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer
DENNIS ECKART has found a way of turning trash into beautiful works of art.
He has been 'sculpting' old tyres into planters and 'Grecian' urns; things of beauty for plants.
"I wanted to do something with tyres for the longest while and did some research on projects of other people. I came across some very interesting stuff and decided to start out with the pots," said Eckart.
"There seems to be many people all over the world who came up with creative ideas of recycling and reusing tyres," he continued.
Eckart - founder of Grupo Cativeiro Capoeira of Jamaica, a group of martial artistes who incorporate dance in their movements - said he has intentions of teaching his 'new-found art' to youths.
"So far, it's only me alone involved in the work; my girlfriend helped with the promotional flier. My vision is to improve my skills and then to build up a business ... and to also teach these skills to youths in the inner city so they can use them to transform their neighbourhoods and also make a living," he said.
"There is a huge potential, in my opinion, for tyre-recycling in Jamaica. Projects like water containers, retaining walls, raised plant beds, pottery, etc, can enhance communities, contribute to a self-sufficient lifestyle by improving backyard/organic farming and creating low-investment micro-business opportunities for unemployed youths form the inner city."
Eckart explained the used tyres - sourced from repair shops and tyre dealers - takes up to an hour to be carved and painted. His principal tools for transforming them are an electric saw and a wet, sharp knife.
He said the painted urns sell for $1,700 each while the unpainted ones cost $1,200. Painted planters sell for $500, unpainted ones for $300.
With the abundance of used tyres, Eckart, will continue creating things of beauty, sights for sore eyes, if you will.