Tires are boring. Except for the occasional horror experienced when one bursts or hits a nail, they’re simply an additional expense for your car. It’s amazing then, to see how many uses, both functional and aesthetic, that hard rubber can be bent toward. Here are some of the most innovative and artistic recycled tires you’ve ever seen:
(Images via ecouterre, drorbren, elite feet, makezine)
Most shoes have rubber soles, but only the most ecologically minded shoe companies intentionally reuse tire rubber for the bottom of their products. In some countries recycling is a necessity, and tires are salvaged for DIY shoe soles.
(Images via trilliumartisans, stylehive, stylehive, thedailygreen)
At some point in the last couple decades, tire rubber became chic. Tires are now a sought after material that can be used in clothing accessories ranging from necklaces and earrings to bracelets and belts. The durable material looks tough but is quite moldable and durable.
(Images via earthship, makingthishome, greenbridge, recyclart)
Tires are an integral structural ingredient in Earth Ships, the incredibly low impact and environmentally friendly houses that are becoming increasingly popular. Tires are formed into walls and then filled with dirt and sealed in with a stucco-like material. They provide great insulation while reclaiming huge amounts of used rubber.
(Images via ps1, uberreview, found shit, housewife splinder)
Tire rubber is durable enough to form usable furniture, and can be surprisingly beautiful. Despite the interesting aesthetic, I can’t imagine these chairs are very comfortable for sitting. They definitely seem to serve a better function as a conversation starter.
(Images via keetsa, igreenspot, greenlaunches, inhabitat)
Some furniture sets are made entirely out of tires and inflated tire tubing, creating extremely odd and interesting pieces. Whether the furniture keeps the tire’s original shape, or strips it of all but its most basic materials, tires are always eye-catching.
(Images via curbly, dailyartmuse, stylehive)
Some artists are able to turn the dullest materials into objects of real beauty. These decorations manage to take an incredibly dull object and turn it into something both lively and exciting. With a bit of coloring, the tire tread design becomes a pattern to be admired, rather than a feature to be taken for granted.
(Images via zuzafun, abovetheweather, makezine, guy schmidt, visualfunhouse)
Tire sculptures are awesome. The shape and durability of used tires make them an ideal material for playground creations and stand-alone sculptures. Creative tearing and shaping can turn a pile of junk that would otherwise be burned into foul smelling clouds, into a hilarious Buddha, saber-toothed cat, or mythical warrior.
(Images via swamp politics, dudecraft, medill, art knowledge)
Tires are proudly displayed on roadsides and in art museums; there are countless examples of finely shredded and shaped tires being turned into pieces of art. Pieces can be abstract and confusing, overwhelmingly large, or simply intricately decorated, but they’re all interesting.
(Images via mo_metalart, thememagazine, artnet, nymag)
Animal sculptures made out of tire are surprisingly fluid and realistic. The natural texture of tire rubber lends itself to such designs, and can replicate cords of muscle when shaped by a skilled hand.