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Tin Man of South Tampa turns old cans into flowers

Tin Can Flower Art
Posted at 11:27 AM, Sep 20, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. — There’s a new type of flower bed springing up in South Tampa and it doesn’t require any water, soil, or sunlight. That’s because it’s all made from recycled materials.

When most people finish their can of beans or soup, the tin can becomes trash, but not for artist Joe Bureker. Instead, he decided to turn tin cans into an innovative flower garden.

“Coffee cans, soda cans, dog food cans, all sorts of cans,” said Bureker. “Pretty much anything I can get my hands on, I try to turn into a flower.”

Just call Bureker the Tin Man of South Tampa.

First, he collects them, then he transforms them.

“So I kind of begin cutting them, and you can imagine each cut becomes its own separate petal basically,” said Bureker.

He’s always had a knack for turning the boring into the beautiful.

“I started at a pretty young age, my grandmother was an artist. She had her own art store, so I started out in diapers playing with paint, and I just kept going from there,” said Bureker.

Bureker was inspired by the support he gained from his neighbors, who leave cans, or in this case, supplies, outside their doors for him to pick up.

“It’s not what I was intending, but I just got such an outpouring of neighbors wanting to help me out it was great,” said Bureker. “It was kind of overwhelming at first, there were just so many things coming at me with cans.”

Now, this local artist is taking his creation to national fairs and expos.

“It was nice I got a lot of nice kind words and a lot of smiles, so it was really good that was probably my favorite part,” said Bureker.

Who knows, there could be a new trend when it comes to backyard flower gardens, all thanks to the South Tampa Tin Man.

“I’m your guy. I’m making metal ones, guaranteed to bloom,” said Bureker.

This article was written by Robert Boyd for WFTS.