Repurposed propane tanks

“Propane Tank #1” by Colin Selig has the original warning decal on it to remind viewers of its recycled materials.

Dear Zenith Art Lovers,
Our theme of artists who use discarded materials to repurpose them for the greater good continues.
Do you realize that most of the world heats with Propane? I did not. I grew up in a suburb and then moved to Washington DC.  It wasn’t until I visited a rural community in California that I become informed that most people outside of cities and suburbs heat with propane, and this is all over the world.
The usable life of a propane tank is 7-10 years, not much. Then they are stockpiled littering the world with deteriorating tanks. Colin Selig, to the rescue, has figured out how to re-purpose propane tanks into sculpture, furniture and art for parks and playground equipment. He has licensed this all over the world. They are perfect for pretty much every environment. They are comfortable to sit on, play on, but not easily slept on, or stolen. They are heavy and can easily be secured. I have not heard of any of these being stolen.
These are 100 % carbon neutral, and will last for decades, possibly centuries. He has been commissioned by Neiman Marcus, and communities all over the country not to mention private use.
If you drive by Zenith Gallery at 1429 Iris St., NW you will see a large prototype in my front yard.
“I’ve been a metal worker my whole life, and I had a large junk propane tank sitting on our property for a couple of decades. My wife finally said to me, ‘Hey, can you do something useful with that instead of just sending it to the recyclers as scrap?’ The curved forms of the tank stimulated my imagination and I began to consider possible ways to dissect and reassemble it into a bench. I’ve always been interested in combining aesthetics with functionality and with recycling and re-purposing.”  
“My ecologically conscious parents instilled in me from an early age the importance of conserving our planet’s resources, although they had mixed emotions when I took their message to heart and searched through our neighbors’ garbage on my way home from elementary school retrieving appliances and furniture I could repair.  While studying metal sculpting at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston I earned a degree in Philosophy from Tufts University in 1987.  My education from that time included apprenticeships with a machinist, race car fabricator, and public art sculptor.  In the next couple of decades I continued to master my craft, restoring a wide variety of antique vehicles and equipment while doing a limited amount of sculpting.  In 2007 I began to focus on my artwork.  Committed to a sustainable lifestyle I reside and work within an intentional community in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
– Colin Seleg
These seats and backrests, made from the cylindrical portion of the tanks, have a gentle curve. After ergonomic research with hundreds of people ranging in size from 4’11” (150 mm) to 6’5″ (196 mm) an ideal relative position of seat to backrest has been determined, one which provides good lumbar support for a wide range of body sizes. Nearly everyone who sits in these seats is surprised by their comfort. Seats are 17″ (43 mm) high unless otherwise specified.
The seat and backrest are extremely sturdy since they are made from curved 5/16 inch (8 mm) steel plate. An extremely solid structure is formed when these curved elements are welded to the spherical ends. These seats are over-engineered and will easily hold thousands of pounds of weight. To ensure that each bench is well balanced on its feet, the seats are set forward of center (front to back) to counter weight the backrests.   Holes are drilled in the feet so that they can be bolted down if desired. After sand blasting the benches receive a zinc rich epoxy primer and an industrial urethane color coat for a tough, long lasting, repairable finish. Alternative finishes are available as well.
Due to strict regulations limiting repairs to volatile liquid containers these common tanks have a limited service life and thus are readily available as scrap metal. The seats pictured on this website were made from locally sourced tanks manufactured in the 1970s.
These seats contain 99% post-consumer recycled content, easily meeting the standards for LEED building material credits. In addition, most of these designs meet ADA compliance standards for outdoor benches. Indoor standards can also be met by altering the arm rests.  
Universal Appeal
Because propane tanks are common world wide people from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds are able to appreciate the ecological statement associated with their transformation from waste into functional works of art.
Child friendly
Children are very responsive to these seats and like to climb all over them. (During fabrication all edges are carefully rounded and sanded.)
Creatively Yours,
Margery E. Goldberg

Purple Bench