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How to Sculpt a Flying Pig

Fred Conlon welds a variety of metal pieces to create his Flying Pig metal sculpture.

Fred Conlon' Flying Pig best reflects his sense of humor and tenacity — his friend said Conlon would realize his dream of opening a pottery shop "when pigs fly."

Materials and Tools:

spent fuel canisters
telephone bells
mattress springs
drill bits for pig's feet
pipe pieces
templates for ears and wings
nuts and blots
sheet metal
plasma torch
MIG welding equipment
face shield, eye and ear protection
leather gloves
angle grinder
paint pen


1. Drain any remaining fuel from the spent fuel canister (pig's body) and clean it thoroughly.

2. Trace wing and ear templates with a paint pen onto sheet metal. Cut out the pig ears and wings from the sheet metal using a plasma torch. Be sure to wear leather safety gloves and a welding shield.

3. Weld the ears onto one end of the canister.

4. Weld telephone bells on below the ears to create the eyes.

5. Cut a 2-inch piece of pipe for the pig's snout with a plasma cutter.

  • On the side of the pipe, cut out an arch from top to bottom, leaving the bottom ends attached and pull the top of the arch away from the pipe, bending it out to create the mouth.
  • Cut a circle the same diameter as the pipe out of sheet metal and cut out two oval holes in the center for nostrils.
  • Spot-weld the nostril metal piece to the end of the pipe.
  • Weld the pipe on the face below the eyes.

6. Weld four mattress springs onto four drill bits for the legs and feet. Weld the completed feet onto the bottom of the canister.

7. Cut and bend the pig's tail from a steel rod. Weld the tail onto the other end of the canister at the top.

8. Weld the pig wings onto the top of the canister. Bend the wings with your hands into desired shape.

9. Weld nuts onto the telephone bells to complete the eyes.

10. Sign the Flying Pig metal sculpture using the welder.

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