Will Unruh, a scrap metal sculpture, stands beside one of his sculptures that can be seen on his Green Lake property, southeast of 100 Mile House, British Columbia. Photo submitted by Will Unruh.

Abbotsford man finds a passion in the South Cariboo

‘I am in an office all day and this is my way to get away from all of that’

From a distance, the large life-sized sculptures around the property of 681 Green Lake S Rd. may have the occasional passer-by fooled.

Around the property, sculptures of deer, bears and other wildlife animals, all made out of metal objects from scrap yards, 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,” said Unruh. “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 when he delved into the world of welding. In college, he took a welding course for beginners and he’s 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, often people will 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,” said Unruh.

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,” said Unruh. “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 and some would disagree.

“I look at something and put it together,” said Unruh. “In a way, this is art, but I don’t consider it as art, it’s just something fun for my own pleasure.”

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