Shropshire Star

Shropshire businessman finds 'strangest' recycled art during fact-finding mission to India

A Shropshire businessman who is passionate about creating art from recycled products has found what he calls his strangest discovery - products made from cow dung.

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Clive Knowles with some of the Jain nuns

Clive Knowles from the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry is on a fact-finding mission in India to look at art and craft work produced in the country.

He said he had been incredibly impressed by a group of Jain nuns that he had met.

"We were told that about 400 of the Jain nuns are dedicated to helping the poorest of women become self-reliant," he said.

As well as being shown beautiful artwork made from recycled paper, Mr Knowles also met nuns would were turning cow dung into products ranging from pots and jewellery to face products.

Their marketing says that cow manure is germicidal and has healing property.

It is also completely environment friendly.

"In all my travels, this is my strangest discovery so far," Mr Knowles said.

Before lockdown Mr Knowles travelled to Africa where he met with artists who were producing sculptures from oil cans.

He travelled there as part of a project, led by the YMCA’s Y Care International charity, which was founded by humanitarian, Terry Waite. This aims to help the artists earn a better wage.

Back at the British Ironwork Centre south of Oswestry he had involved schools in several art projects using recycled products.

These have included filling a wire mesh gorilla sculpture with bottle tops.

Wem's Thomas Adams School was one of those who became involved.

The school said the gorilla has been specifically designed to hold thousands of bottle tops as a bid to raise better awareness about the importance of recycling and protecting our environment.

The latest sculpture commissioned by the British Ironwork Centre is also make from recycled materials.

An enormous robot, created by artist, Luke Kite, is made from old car bumpers. It has become the 'face' of the centre's appeal to collect aid for Ukraine, standing at it's entrance on the A5.