Pro baseball player who creates incredible sculptures out of old tyres!
A professional baseball player has filled the months in between seasons turning unwanted tyres into incredible life-size sculptures.
While most professional athletes use breaks to relax, Toronto Jays baseball player, Blake McFarland, 28, is busy transforming junk into art.
Multi-talented Blake, from San Jose, California, USA was first inspired to try his artistic hand at tyre sculpting by a children’s playground.
Blake said: “When I tell someone what I do nobody understands it at first. I have to show them a picture to really get my explanation across.
“Once somebody sees my sculptures in person I love their reaction. Most people are in awe and very intrigued on how it is possible.
“It makes it all worth it to see somebody just stare at my sculptures with wonderment and amazement.”
In his spare time, Blake has created an impressive portfolio of rubber-made sculptures which has gained the interest of tyre giants, Goodyear.
The baseball player says he has had to turn down interest for many more potential commissions because he does not have the time to squeeze them in between pitching.
Blake said: “Art has been part of my life for the past eight years. I began painting scenery landscapes and realized I had a talent that I could also make a little money from.
“I sold my first painting to a family friend and from there I spent every baseball offseason painting on a variety of items and selling them.
“In 2013 I was driving by a children’s playground where they had a bunch of old tyres stacked up forming a serpent of some sort for children to play on.
“From that sparked my idea. I thought about the material as an abundant, cheap source that is being thrown away everywhere.
“I went to local automotive shops and bicycle shops and begun collecting as many old tyres as I could.
“There was a lot of trial and error along the way, but a month after I started I finished my first sculpture, a small Jaguar.
“From there I knew I wanted to continue doing more and more tyre sculptures.
When he is not rummaging around through mountains of piled up tyres, Blake is a fairly formidable pitcher for his bat wielding opposition.
Blake came through the ranks at San Jose State where he played for two years before signing his first professional contract with Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
A shoulder injury requiring surgery ruled Blake out of the entire baseball season last year but he is now set to make 2017 his biggest yet.
Blake said: “I will get commissioned on average two times during my offseason yearly because I only have five months of actually sculpting.
“I have been tyre sculpting for a little under five years now.
“I am most proud of my latest two pieces that were featured in this years cotton bowl. Both sculptures, life-size Bronco and Bucky the Badger, are the largest pieces I have done to date.
“I also had to finish both pieces in just 18 days which kept me up all day and night working non-stop,taking about 300 man hours on whole.
“The time a sculpture takes to get completed varies widely. When I first started it would take up to a month to complete one sculpture.
“Now that I have honed my craft I can complete those same sculptures in about 15-20 days. It also depends on the size of the sculpture obviously.
“The two cotton bowl sculptures took 300 man hours to complete.
“My goal as an artist is to get the non-artist interested in art.
“I want to have a young kid, or an older gentlemen who had never thought about or really appreciated art before to be fascinated with the sculptures.”