Thursday Salute to Originals: Boiling Sculpture Down to Nuts and Bolts

Nuts and bolts are a key component to all of our turnkey backlit systems. Usually serving as the main attachment mechanism for our substructure, though never seen, they are absolutely essential to the success of our features. We’ve configured these staple hardware pieces in hundreds of different arrangements – horizontal, vertical, upside down, and everything in between. But it never crossed our minds to use hardware this way. tobbe-malm-bolt-mother-child-sculpture

Tobbe Malm re-purposes nuts and bolts to make whimsical, yet emotive sculptures. As the head of the bolt (ironically) becomes the “head” of the figure, these unassuming pieces of metal are transformed into personified depictions of various social interactions and moments.

But the truly amazing part about these sculptures isn’t just an unorthodox use of materials. Moreso, it’s how Malm manages to make a simple pieces of hardware exude authentic emotion. True sorrow and despair is palpable in some; in others, you can feel warmth, love, and sentiment. That type of raw emotional impact on the viewer is difficult enough to achieve through traditional media, yet, Malm has managed to accomplish just that with common fasteners.


We salute Tobbe Malm for turning normally concealed hardware into a muse for artistic and emotional expression. He certainly does not have a screw loose!

Image credits: Twisted Sifter, Amusing Planet