Quirky creations of North Yorkshire metalworker who makes pigs and unicorns that can be used as fire pits and planters

IT’s amazing what you can make out of scrap and recycled metal – everything from roses to pigs and unicorns that can be used as barbecues, fire pits and planters.

Metal artist Michael Bennett and his pig which can be used as a barbeque, fire pit - or planter Pic: Tony Johnson

Michael Bennett, who has a forge in Lockton, North Yorkshire describes himself as a modern metal worker, and uses everything from an anvil to welder to laser cutter.

His day job is working as a continuous improvement engineer at the Xandor Automotive factory, in Pickering, which makes Land Rover parts, and he says his hobby “helps to relieve the daily stress”.

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He is probably best known for his sheep sculptures which stand outside the Inn on the Moor, Goathland, where he used to live.

Michael at work in his forge in Lockton, North Yorkshire

He got into metalworking after being asked to make a barbecue out of an old gas boiler. Five years later, when he had a breakdown and was signed off work, he decided to build a forge.

“Hitting metal with a hammer was fantastic for my mental health issues – it helped to have an outlet,” he said.

In normal times he likes to visit markets to gauge what people are buying – currently insects are very popular. But some of his creations are much bigger like his full-sized unicorns.

He says he loves to make things "that aren't necessarily normal" and his metalwork is much thicker than imported work from China.

Roses are among the flowers Michael creates along with animals ranging from unicorns to sheep and insects

“Chances of it rusting away in 50 years is very slim”.

His work will be on show at the Malton Food Festival on August 28.

One of Michael's woolly sheep