Have you ever seen any of those gorgeous tin toys of yesteryear? These tin robots by French artist Daphné Burge remind us so much of them! Daphné Burge is a found object artist. She collects metal tins, bakelite, porcelain and other vintage odds and ends. Using imagination and a touch of whimsy, she transforms these objects into tin robots and a menagerie of metallic animals.
It’s no surprise that these stunning tin robots so resemble the look of gorgeous vintage tin toys. Daphné Burge is an avid collector of old robot and space toys. She also has an impressive collection of old metal tins. Merging the passion of her 2 collections, she decided to begin creating tin robots inspired by toys gone by. Originally working with forgotten materials recovered from attics, Daphné Burge now scours French flea markets for her materials.
Each robot she creates is unique and the result of hours of creativity, work and patience. They measure between 10 – 50 cm tall and are comprised of metal tin cans, pieces of bakelite (vintage plastic), porcelain fuses and various vintage objects. Daphné Burge lives in Paris, which is renowned for having diverse and impressive flea markets. For the most part Daphné Burge uses reclaimed metal screws to assemble the various parts of her tin robots.
When we asked Daphné Burge what her favourite thing about upcycling was, she referenced the magic. By looking at items with fresh eyes and a bit of imagination, simple pieces of scrap metal can become fun tin robots that come to life and tell stories of their own. In this way, the upcycling process gives life to otherwise abandoned objects and materials. We find Daphné Burge’s tin robots to be both creative and playful, and love their vintage, Jetsons-like aesthetic.
Hot upcycling tip!
Paris’ largest flea market is Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. If you’re ever in Paris and want to hunt for some vintage odds and ends to repurpose, you can check Les Puces de Saint-Ouen out. It’s open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 6pm (with a small break in the middle for lunchtime). The market spans 7 hectares and stocks everything from furniture, toys, mechanical parts to clothes and accessories.