WASHINGTONVILLE - Bill Cypher of Washingtonville is a plumber, but he’s also a sculptor who takes copper pipe, faucet handles, shower rings, silverware, sheet lead and more and makes them into tiny motorcycles, boats, cars and more.
“Because I am a plumber I see copper as a beautiful thing,” Bill said. “The fact that I can solder and fabricate it, I just decided to make things. But I do it mostly because I like to do it.” He started making his amazing sculptures in 1988. He solders with a regular torch and solder iron, the very same tools he uses in his trade.
Bill follows a "do as you go" plan, meaning no plans, no blueprints and never to be duplicated.
Bill’s finding more time these days so he’s spending it in his shop working on more sculptures. He recently posted on his Facebook page, Bill Cypher’s Copper Mine, two car sculptures both made out of plumbing supplies.
The first is a hot rod style car with big tires and a blower sticking out of the hood. Its totally constructed from copper. The silver or chrome parts are also copper but tined with solder. The blower was made from two silver spoons. The whole sculpture took three days of hard labor along with a lot of thought.
“I pictured it in my head and it came out just as I pictured it,” Bill said, “and that's a beautiful thing! It sometimes ends up in my ‘well I tried’ pile.”
The other car looks more like an early MG but with big skirts. It is made from the same media as the other car, copper pipe and sheet copper, and some silver fork handles to give it a touch of elegance. “Funny thing is I made the hood about 6 or 8 years ago put it aside and moved on to other things,” Bill said, “now that I have some time on my hands it all came together.”
It’s amazing what he does with pieces of metal and fixtures headed for the scrap yard.
To see more of Bill’s amazing sculptures, visit Bill Cypher’s Copper Mine on Facebook.