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Penzance craftsman branches out into plastic coathangers

By cmjohnw  |  Posted: October 16, 2013

Penzance craftsman branches out into plastic coathangers

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A WOOD craftsman will demonstrate that he has more than one string to his bow when he puts on a show at the Penzance Country Market next Thursday.

Alan Whitfield will be taking along his wide range of contemporary wooden pieces which include pieces of furniture, mirrors and carvings as well as fun figurines.

But he will also be wowing market visitors with his highly unusual sculptures made out of plastic coathangers.

Alan’s love affair with timber started when he was still in his teens but his enthusiasm for shaping, people, giraffes, dinosaurs and dragons out of the coathangers has only surfaced in the past few months.

“I was displaying my woodwork in the large hall at St John’s Hall in May and there were four large boxes of coathangers lying around,” he said.

“I offered them around the charity shops in Penzance but could only get rid of one box and so I thought ‘what can I do with them’.”

Using a hair dryer to heat up the plastic, Alan started shaping the coathangers while manning his stand at the next market and soon attracted considerable interest.

“People came up to me and asked to make a hatstand or something to hold postcards and it progressed from there.

“I’d never worked with plastic before, always with wood, and was amazed that I could use my creativity on something I saw as rubbish with no intrinsic value.”

The exhibition of Alan Whitfield’s work takes place at St John’s Hall, Penzance from 9am to 4pm next Thursday, October 17.

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