Farmer turns barnyard scraps into beautiful art

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BISMARCK, ND - Farmers have a reputation for salvaging broken and worn out tools or machinery and recycling them.

A metal artist who had that philosophy hammered into him while growing up on a farm has turned the trait of being thrifty into a successful and unusual business.

Chris Thomas says he was taught the art of welding in a barn, "The first time

I struck an arc I just loved it from there" says Thomas.

He worked as a manufacturing welder for 20 years, then decided to strike out on his own.

Chris been producing art from junk for the past five years. "I Take something that most people think is useless and turn it into something," says Thomas.

Thomas turns old farm machinery, chains and tools into planters, benches and tables. Anything a magnet will stick to he repurposes.

"It's not real hard to find but I'm always looking," adds Thomas.

He looks in scrap metal yards and rummage sales for raw material and inspiration.

Planters are his most popular seller because people can spruce up the pots and give them personality with different flowers and shrubs.

His creations are sold at craft shows and from a small store that's adjacent to his shop.

"Kitchen tables, sofa tables, Mirrors, wall hangings, benches, a little bit of everything," says Thomas.

Chris plans on continuing to create scrap metal art until the iron cows come home.

If you'd like to see more works of Thomas Metal Art, go to the website at thomasmetalart.com or stop by the store at 1907 East Morrison Avenue in Bismarck.