Saanich resident Dan Iocchelli spent seven years building a 10-foot metal dragon and recently moved it his front yard. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Ginormous 10-foot dragon towers over Saanich yard

Artist Dan Iochelli spent seven years crafting the metal beast

Saanich residents living near Swan Lake are adjusting to a new metal creature towering in the neighbourhood. At the end of August, artist and welder Dan Iocchelli moved a massive dragon onto his front yard with the help of a tow truck.

The 10-foot tall beast is made of metal and took him seven years to build. Like something out of a fantasy novel, Iocchelli’s ferocious dragon guards his driveway and a large treasure chest.

READ ALSO: City of Victoria calls on artists to help fill empty storefronts

Seven years ago, Iocchelli – who works as a welder at Specific Mechanical Systems Ltd. in Saanichton – was in Toys R Us and spotted a little toy dragon. As a metal artist of many years, the idea to try his hand at building a dragon of his own popped into his head.

He began to build it in his garage with scrap stainless and mild steel from various bin dives and cedarwood because he wanted the dragon to stand the test of time. After three years, he needed to move it outside because as he worked, the dragon grew and grew – much bigger than he’d intended. Iocchelli started with the wings and they were just under two feet long, but once he began on the body, things got away from him.

Now, seven years and hundreds of parts later, the dragon stands in his front yard at 10 feet tall with a wingspan of 12 feet. There were moments when Iocchelli was scared during the building process as he spent a lot of time working under it. Each wing alone weighs 350 pounds, he noted. The dragon has been carefully secured and supported to make it safe for people to be around.

“It’s impossible to knock over,” he said proudly.

Iocchelli’s goal was for the dragon to look strong and look like he’s “been around a long time.”

READ ALSO: 100 art pieces donated for fundraiser supporting refugee family new to Victoria

He hopes people will come by 3851 Douglas St. to take a photo with the dragon and share some name suggestions as the creature is currently nameless.

People have begun to stop by and one little boy even knocked on his door to compliment his art. Iocchelli’s favourite thing is seeing people interact with his art and his hope is that the dragon finds a home somewhere where people will see him often “like an airport or a city centre,” said Iocchelli who plans to focus on art full time once he retires.

Check out Iocchelli’s other art on Instagram at @daniocchelli_metal_art.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

 

Saanich resident Dan Iocchelli spent seven years building a 10-foot metal dragon and recently moved it to his front yard. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Oak Bay girls net senior volleyball Island championship

Claremont Secondary clams second place as both teams head to Provincials

Heritage Haunted House rakes in more than $10,000 to help fill children’s dreams

Spooky fundrasier has been scaring community for 13 years

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

UPDATE: Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

Drivers asked to use caution, clean-up crews have finished on-site

Investigate the paranormal at Point Ellice House this December

Museum hosting ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ event

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read