From a distance, the large life-sized sculptures around the property of 681 Green Lake S Rd. may have the occasional passerby fooled.
Around the property, sculptures of deer, bears and other wildlife animals – all made out of metal objects from scrapyards – can be found.
The man behind the metalwork is Will Unruh, an estimator from Abbotsford who spends his free time at his property in Green Lake, roughly a 40-minute drive south of 100 Mile House.
“I am in an office all day, so this is my way to get away from all of that and release a week of pressure and stress from my day job,” Unruh said. “About 50 per cent of my time is spent up at Green Lake and the other is spent back home in Abbotsford.”
Unruh has had his property for almost 16 years, but it wasn’t until about four years ago that he delved into the world of welding. In college, he took a welding course for beginners and he has taught himself the rest.
“I just enjoy welding,” he said. “You play around with it and kind of figure it out as you go. I like to be busy and, with welding, you can hammer the metal, bang it around and it looks good.”
Unruh collects the bulk of his supplies from metal recycling yards. The sculptures are often made out of chains, cables, wrenches, sheets of metal and more. A trip to the scrapyard involves a lot of digging and scrounging for the perfect pieces. Each trip, Unruh will collect about 80 pounds of metal, which will roughly fill a five-gallon bucket.
“I take everything as it is,” he said.
Unruh has always been drawn to nature and most of his projects focus on that.
“The first project I worked on was a deer head and it carried on from there. I have about an acre of land so I started making things that would look neat around the property.”
Unruh said the sculptures have created quite the attention to his property. People will often stop and take photos as they pass by.
“We have so many people drive by because of the campsites nearby so I thought it would be nice to put stuff closer to the road and see it as they drive by,” he said.
People have even started to leave scrap metal at the gate for Unruh to use for whatever it is he is working on.
“I have been offered money for some of the work but I don’t sell anything,” he said. “I do it because I like to. I probably won’t ever sell anything because I think that will take the fun out of it.”
Unruh said he doesn’t consider himself an artist, although some would disagree.
“I look at something and put it together,” he said.
“In a way, this is art, but I don’t consider it as art. It’s just something fun for my own pleasure.”