Have you ever heard of "trench art?" It's making a comeback in popularity, so it's a good word to know right now. Trench art is a form of folk art, meaning that it was made by untrained "artists", specifically by soldiers at war, in captivity or in hospitals using what they had on hand. Often, this would be mortar shells, bullet casings, uniform buttons, or items from captured enemy soldiers. The trench art I've found most frequently are vases created from shell casings, such as the lovely example I came across at the Livingston Antique Outlet in Howell, Michigan, below:
The example in the picture above resembles a lovely Arts and Crafts style hand-hammered copper vase. Often trench art items will have a little more of a personal touch, with words and images making an appearance. The date and name of a particular battle is a common motif, or local flora and fauna, such as palm trees and a camel might be incorporated.
Often you will find pairs of vases, like this example I discovered on Wikipedia:
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Besides common vases, creative trench artists made smoking stands with the shell casings incorporated into them; lamp bases; ashtrays; and smaller items made from cut pieces of the casings such as bracelets.
Prices for trench art are all over the place, depending on what item we're talking about. For the mortar shell casing vases pictured here, prices would range from $30 to over $200 depending on the amount of detail in the design.