Queensland sculptor turns scrap metal into campdraft-inspired art

Kelly Butterworth
By Kelly Butterworth
January 18 2022 - 11:00pm

When Queensland's Claire Murphy made a sculpture of her dog for fun, she realised it was "pretty good".

Ms Murphy, from Mount Isa, said she then decided to try something bigger.

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"I thought I'd test myself and see if I could make a life size horse, but I wanted it to be doing something, so I chose campdrafting," she said.

"I had an image in my head of what it could be, but I didn't think it would turn out this good!"

After posting pictures of the sculpture to Facebook, Ms Murphy said she had been overwhelmed by the response from not only her family and friends, but the wider public.

Claire Murphy in the workshop. Supplied: Claire Murphy.

"I exceeded my own expectations really," she said.

"I do a few smaller sculptures and metal signs on the side, but would love to be able to make sculptures full time."

Ms Murphy said her first sculpture was a magpie on a branch which she made for her mum a decade ago, but she didn't take it up as a regular hobby.

"I just stumbled across it (making sculptures) really," she said.

"My Dad taught me to weld at a young age and my mum is an incredible artist, so I guess I've just combined the two skills."

The first sculpture Claire Murphy made was this, for her mum. Picture: Supplied, Claire Murphy.

Since the bird, Ms Murphy has made "a couple of dogs, another bird, and a model-size Mad Max Interceptor" before attempting Ben T'Iron and Metallic Scrap.

"The response has been overwhelming, so much support from the community," she said.

"I'm so glad it has brought joy to a lot of people.

"I really enjoyed making it - it's good for your soul when you do something you love."

Ms Murphy said Ben and Scrap, as she is calling the duo, weigh 560 kilograms, and the Brahman bullock weighs 375kg.

"I started it two years ago, but I was not full time on it... if I had been full time, only working on it I think I could have had it done in eight months," she said.

"It's made of scrap steel, old tools, old truck parts, old farming parts and whatever other junk I could find really.

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"I knew it would be a hit with all the campdrafters - but I didn't imagine the response to be this big."

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To contact Claire, email her at clairemurphycontracting@outlook.com.

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Kelly Butterworth

Kelly Butterworth

National Digital Specialist

Kelly is the National Digital Specialist for ACM Agriculture, covering Queensland Country Life, The Land, Farmonline, Stock Journal, Stock & Land, Farm Weekly and the North Queensland Register.

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