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Old CDs get new life as playful animal sculptures

Australian artist Sean Avery takes old CDs and makes them into wild pieces of art. Crave chats with Avery to find out how he brings his animal sculptures to life.

Artist Sean Avery breathes new life into CDs by turning them into animal sculptures.
Sean E. Avery

With the prevalence of iPods and MP3 players, CDs are starting to go the way of vinyl as people shun physical media in favor of digital downloads. Some people are simply throwing their CD collection in the trash, while others are using the discs as coasters. One artist, however, has found a way to let the CDs play on in a completely different form.

Sean Avery, a children's book writer and illustrator from Perth, Australia, takes old CDs, as well as used circuit boards, and turns them into beautiful animal sculptures. Avery, who now lives in Ottawa, Canada, has been sculpting for nine years and finds old tech to be a great medium.

The artist, Sean Avery, with some of his friends from upcoming book, "All Monkeys Love Bananas." Sean E. Avery

"I just think that old tech looks cool," Avery told Crave. "There's also a ton of it around, and I think it's great that I can turn unrecyclable crap into something interesting."

Avery said office buildings are a great place to pick up CDs and old computer parts, and often, his friends and family bring him material. Avery then uses a pair of kitchen scissors to cut up the discs and organizes the shards in containers by size, shape, and color.

To create a sculpture, he builds a wire mesh frame to form the base and then uses a hot glue gun to attach the CD pieces. He won't make just anything, only animals.

"Animals are awesome! That, and the CD shard technique suits animals better than any other subject matter," Avery said, adding that it's easy to create the effect of feathers, fur, and scales with the pieces.

From these broken CDs, many an animal has been born, including falcons, bears, and otters. The collection even includes some fictional characters, such the female Fleeple, who will steal your cheese and crackers if you're not careful.

Avery makes sculptures of all sizes and says a medium-size piece will take him about a week to complete and requires about 75 CD pieces. The most he's ever used for one sculpture is a little over 300.

Avery also makes sculptures using old circuit boards. Sean E. Avery

When asked if there's a particular animal he'd like to tackle next, Avery told Crave, "I've actually been wanting to make a Jolteon. Pokemon fan art for the win!" Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he'll have time to do that anytime soon.

Avery is a bit busy these days, with the upcoming release of his children's book, "All Monkeys Love Bananas" and teaching art workshops at schools. He's also building a "massive" dragon sculpture for one of the U.S.-based Ripley's Believe It or Not museums (exact location is TBA), using what else? CDs. Needless to say, he should surpass his previous record of 300 CD pieces.

To see more of Sean Avery's CD animal sculptures, check out the gallery below.