Wed, Jul 18, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Auto mechanic turns scrap iron into art

By Chiu Chih-jou and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Auto mechanic and craftsman Liu Kun-ho stands next to some of his metalwork creations in Taishan Village, Pingtung County, on Saturday.

Photo: Chiu Chih-jou, Taipei Times

An auto mechanic from the south has been pouring new life into scrap iron with a pair of deft hands that transform waste into a host of attractive artworks.

From a lively dragonfly perched on the handle of an axe to an iron sculpture in the shape of a taro, Liu Kun-ho (劉坤和), a self-taught craftsman and member of the Taishan Village (泰山) patrol team in Pingtung County, started iron sculpting about a year ago.

Unlike others who resort to alcohol or other potentially unhealthy activities, Liu started dabbling in arts to relieve increasing pressure at work.

“Whether it is the creative process or seeing my brainchild gradually take form, they give me an irreplaceable sense of achievement, which just sweeps away my gloominess,” Liu said.

Over time, Liu’s delicate iron works have helped him gain popularity and receive scores of orders from customers who want custom-made craftworks that feature various themes.

“I am not really that well-known and there is room for improvement in my works,” Liu said humbly. “Still, those who don’t find my creations that bad are welcome to order iron-made artworks from me.”

Liu’s craftsmanship has also captured the attention of local government officials, who invited him to take on a decorative project for a local park, to which the handyman readily agreed without considering the compensation.

Wang Ching-hsiang (汪璟翔), leader of the patrol team, said not only is Liu an excellent team member, but he is also willing to help others by dedicating his talent to his hometown.

“Such a spirit should be publicly recognized,” Wang said.

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