WIGANER Mark O’Brien has turned a hobby into a career as he exhibits and sells items ... made out of cardboard.
The 24-year-old first experimented with cardboard craft when he was 17 while studying art at Winstanley College.
He made small props such as shoes, cameras, hats and musical instruments and then continued creating items whilst at Leeds Metropolitan University as part of his foundation art degree.
Once he had completed his degree he expanded his range and has his own studio in Manchester.
He now displays some of his work in galleries and shop windows, and he works with schools and theatres, making props.
Mark, who lives in Golborne, said: “I think cardboard is a great material. People can identify with it, as they have made things out of card when they were younger.
“I just want to make people look at cardboard in a different way.
“Plus it is a free material and easy to get hold of. I really enjoy model making and so I worked to turn it into a job.
“People have bought some of the pieces I have made and some items have been sent to America to be displayed in galleries or to be sold on.
“I make full-size items and props. A lot of people like the shoes and hats. I also do illustration work and make wacky sculptures.”
Mark has had his work displayed in charity shop Noiselab, in Manchester, and will soon have some work featured in a furniture shop in Islington, London.
He said: “It is really great that people like my work and don’t think I am too wacky. I am pleased people seem to enjoy looking at it and even do a double take when they see it.
“I was really lucky my tutor at university encouraged me to carry on with cardboard crafts, as it was different and I have turned it into a job.”