OpenRoad Driver Volume 14 Issue 1 - Page 94

94 » OpenRoad Driver B L A K E M c FA R L A N D If there’s one person who really appreciates old car tires, it’s Blake McFarland, an artist who uses recycled rubber tires to create amazing life-like sculptures. The tires are shredded, woven and secured, and by using tires with different treads and widths, McFarland is able to create detailed, muscle-like definition in his animal sculptures. The San Jose, California local has used some 1,000 tires over the last two years while honing his craft. When he’s not making art, McFarland pursues his other passions: surfing and baseball. A talented athlete, he is a professional baseball player who has pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays club and its affiliated teams. What’s your source of inspiration for art? My inspiration for my art is the actual animals and nature that the sculptures represent. I come up with ideas on future projects by looking around at the natural environment and considering what would look really cool being depicted in tires. I like to use the animals’ muscle structure as a reference for each of my sculptures. My favourite sculptures to date are the two sculptures that I did for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. They are the largest and most difficult pieces I have done to date. What do you love about your medium? I love that it is 100% recycled. What that means is that it’s great for the environment, and I also gather the tires for free! Tires are a great use for this art because the different kinds of treads really depict the different muscle groups or shapes that I’m trying to portray in the animals’ structure. I first thought of using tires in 2013 when I drove by a children’s playground and saw old tires stacked up in a serpent design. That really sparked my first thought of using tires. What’s your philosophy on recycling? I believe the more we do to help keep materials that cannot be decomposed out of our dumps, the better our planet will be. I’m extremely satisfied with my artwork when I know that all the tires would be