When Hurricane Fran blew through North Carolina in 1994, it punched a hole in Thomas Graham’s roof. The damage was minor compared to the surrounding devastation, and not likely to attract a professional roofer for a while, so Thomas decided to make the repairs himself. Up until that time, cutting and bending sheet metal had never caught the imagination of Dr. Graham, who spent his professional life as a psychiatrist working in community mental health. (Thanks for your service!) But once the roof repair was done, he became fascinated with the leftover metal scraps. Over time he learned about tools and techniques from books, workshops, and practice. He didn’t really think of himself as an artist as he fashioned tiny metal UFOs suitable for holiday decorations, or even when his hand-crafted watering can won a ribbon at the NC State Fair. Artistic inspiration came from Bobby Hansson, author of the book "The Fine Art of the Tin Can", who gave him the idea of making tin can collages. Now he is obviously an artist.
Thomas has always loved the painted tin containers that we use for cookies, tobacco, tea, or spices. Now they are found in neat piles in this workshop, where he cuts and flattens them into his art materials. Starting with a sketch, he plans the shapes and colors that he will need, and exactly which part of which cans will be used. The colors in the collage will be the original colors from the cans. After the project is planned out, he spends hours cutting tiny pieces of metal to make the smallest details of the scene he is creating. The tiny pieces are held together temporarily with masking tape, then each piece is fitted and nailed to a wooden board. The finished project is often a bird, or a landscape containing birds, rendered with both accuracy and affection.
Now retired, Thomas has more time to devote to his tin can creations which are beginning to find their way into art shows and shops. Having benefitted from various community workshops, he is now being called upon to lead them. He and his wife are enjoying life in a quiet corner of Alamance County, NC.

Thomas Graham
YOU DO TAKE PLASTIC
8.375" x 9.875"
tin collage on wood
$250
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FROM THE LIST
Pittsboro, NC
RED CURRY
9.375" x 12.375"
tin collage on wood
$195 SOLD
PORCH WREN
9.875" x 7.625"
tin collage on wood
$250 SOLD
Stacks of cans & tin
in Thomas Graham's studio
DAFFODIL
4.25" x 7"
tin collage on wood
$125
ANCHOVIES
7.25" x 5.5"
tin collage on wood
$75
"3 CRAWS"
6" x 4.5"
tin collage on wood
$95 SOLD
AFTERNOON TEA
AVEC UN GRAND CHIEN
5.5'' x 8.5''
tin collage on wood
$95 SOLD
CONVOY
16.5'' x 12.5''
tin collage on wood
$200
CHARLES BRIDGE, PRAGUE
17.75'' x 14.5''
tin collage on wood
$300
BROWN THRASHER
13.5'' x 9''
tin collage on wood
$150
BROWN NUTHATCH
7.25'' x 6''
tin collage on wood
$150 SOLD
BELTED KINGFISHER
9.25'' x 16.5''
tin collage on wood
$395
APPLE BLOSSOM TIME
12.75'' x 9.5''
tin collage on wood$195 SOLD
DAFFODIL STILL LIFE
9'' x 12.25''
tin collage on wood
$150
MR. PILEATED
6'' x 6''
tin collage on wood
$130
IRIS & MAYFLY
6.5'' x 9.5''
tin collage on wood
$150
EASY STARTING
8.25'' x 10.5''
tin collage on wood
$150 SOLD
EAGLE ON MANDALE RD
10.75'' x 10.25''
tin collage on wood
$150
FIRST FIRM OF PAKISTAN
6.75'' x 8.5''
tin collage on wood
$125
GOLDFINCH &
BACHELOR BUTTONS
6.75'' x 9.5''
tin collage on wood
$175 SOLD
LONG FLOCK
21.25'' x 3''
tin collage on wood
$130 SOLD
HOUSE FINCHES
9'' x 9''
tin collage on wood
$195 SOLD
FIVE EIGHTS
10.5'' x 10.5''
tin collage on wood
$100
AMERICAN KESTREL
19.75'' x 9''
tin collage on wood
$295
SPANISH MACKEREL
17.5'' x 7.5''
tin collage on painted wood
$295
LEONARDO'S BEAR
6'' x 4.25''
tin collage on wood
$95
LEAST TERN
13.25'' x 10.5''
tin collage on wood$150
KING VULTURE II
13.5'' x 8.5''
tin collage on wood
$350
KING VULTURE
11.5'' x 9''
tin collage on wood
$295
KILLDEER ON MANDALE RD
13.5'' x 9''
tin collage on wood
$195
REALLY?!?
9'' x 3.5''
tin collage on wood
$95
POLLINATORS
12.75'' x 10.75''
tin collage on wood
$250 SOLD
MIG 21
11.5'' x 7''
tin sculpture
$95 SOLD
LESSER KESTRELS
IN PRAGUE
9.5'' x 12.5''
tin collage on wood
$195
SUMAC
10.5'' x 10.5''
tin collage on wood
$80 SOLD
SMALL BELTED KINGFISHER
7.25'' x 5.25''
tin collage on wood
$150
SILVER CITY
7'' x 9.5''
tin collage on wood
$150 SOLD
SHARP DRESSED CROW
9'' x 6.5''
tin collage on wood
$250
SWALLOWS OF PRAGUE
9.5'' x 12.5''
tin collage on wood
$195 SOLD
SWALLOWS RETURN TO UCLA
(Upper Chatham, Lower Alamance)
16.5'' x 12.5''
tin collage on wood
$150 SOLD
UFO
6'' x 2.25''
tin sculpture
$75 SOLD
SUMMER SCHOOL
9.5'' x 3.75''
tin collage on wood
$75 SOLD
URBAN MOON
12.5'' x 9.5''
tin collage on wood
$150
TWO BLUE HERONS
12.75'' x 19.25''
tin collage on wood
$495
THE LOBBYISTS
11.75'' x 5.5''
tin collage on wood
$300
TEA TIME?
9'' x 4.5''
tin collage on wood
$125
WARM UP
9'' x 12.5''
tin collage on wood
$150