When recycle artists move to the farm …

I went on an art tour with friends a couple weekend’s ago and we had a great time!  The most interesting place on the tour was the home of a very creative, unique couple who are not only very artistic but who also believe in recycling.  I hope my pictures do them justice because everywhere you looked there was a very original use of some very common objects — like bowling balls, glass bottles, dominos and ceramic shards.

The part of the county where we were doesn’t have many straight roads so it is very easy to get lost, which we did a couple times.  Luckily, I was the one driving so my fine-tuned sense of direction was a great benefit!  Okay, reality is that I have no sense of direction, and the GPS even got confused!  It was a very interesting day.

Anyway, when we finally found this stop on the tour, it was anything but spectacular looking from the road.  Was this the right place?

Oh, yeah.  We knew we were in the right place when we saw the mailbox, and we were given our first hint of things to come (notice the bowling ball?).

Rust has its own beauty, demonstrated in various areas of the yard.

And bowling balls were definitely a theme, inside and out:

See the bowling ball in the middle of this picture?

On closer inspection, it appears to be a little surprised about where it has wound up!

Buddha probably should sit a little further away from these two elevated bowling balls.  I bet it would hurt if one of them fell on you!

Bicycle spokes gave the rain barrel a festive look.

Another theme was the use of old glass bottles:

As decorative planters.

As a “bottle tree” (with yet another bowling ball close-by).

This tree was wrapped in white tape.  (It had a trash can right next to it but my dear friend Hilary edited it out for me.  Isn’t that great?  Thank you, Hilary!)

Dominos appeared in some very surprising places:

There were even dominoes included in the top left corner of the back splash of a sink.

Pottery shards were obviously a favorite material.

Here are a couple more shots of the back splash:

No, that isn’t a picture of me included in the mosaic, top center.  It’s a piece of mirror which caught my reflection.

And, as if it wasn’t already original enough, on the side wall, there were things incorporated into the ceramic that hold things — like a cup to hold brushes, etc. and a couple of rings that it looks like are holding wash clothes.

If the “shards” are as big as a half platter, they become a border along the porch.

Maybe this is a very elaborate paperweight?  If it is, wouldn’t it be a perfect gift for a pool player?

In several areas we came across fairies made out of twigs:

Besides the fairy, notice in this picture that the porch roof is supported by tree limbs!

A closer look.  I found these really charming.

And this guy even gives you a little insight into who he is — he’s obviously a snappy dresser because he’s wearing a hat, and he’s a peace-loving guy because he wishes “Peace to all who enter here” according to the sign he’s wearing.

The out buildings, while obviously old, had been treated very kindly:

I have no idea if the fact that I am charmed that they honor old things has anything to do with the fact that I turn 64 in a few days!

Apparently they have access to lots of old 78 rpm records:

This one as “art” attached to the wall had been melted into a bowl shape.  If it were setting on a table, maybe it could hold fruit?

This blurry picture is the only one I got of one of the clocks made out of an old 78, so I’m showing it to you anyway because I thought it was a very clever use of something most people would consider useless.

There were a couple clocks that had a common theme:

“My, how time flies!”  (notice his feet are bent spoons?)

“Oh, no!  I’m running out of time!”

An unusual light fixture over a table.

And another interesting light fixture.

It didn’t take long to realize that everywhere you looked there was something interesting included in otherwise ordinary landscaping.

I have no idea what this started life as, but I don’t think it was an armadillo!

This couple may have been champions at recycling, but they also were very tidy, and obviously had a love of beauty!

Even their woodpile was neat as a pin.

I have no idea what’s going on here (maybe support for young plants), but even these sticks looked artistic!

By the time we left, a gnome on a tree trunk, twig bird cages hanging in the tree and pink flamingos in a flower bed seemed perfectly normal!

What an interesting place this was.  And I was so impressed that even though there were old things everywhere the whole place was so neat and well-maintained.

Thank you to the artist couple who shared their interesting and fun view of the world with those of us who toured their farm.  They definitely demonstrated that if you look hard enough, there is potential beauty in lots of “useless” things!

8 Responses to When recycle artists move to the farm …

  1. Hilary says:

    These are fantastic… I love how they used ceramic pieces, wood bits and that crazy dominoes clock. Sandra, somehow I’ve lost track of your email address and wanted to send you my very rough (quickly done) version of your bottle tree. I took out the trash for ya. 😉

    If you have a moment, please drop me a line at thesmittenimage at gmail dot com and I’ll send that out to you.

  2. C. Beth says:

    What a neat place! That takes a whole lot of creativity. And how fun it must be to LIVE in a “work in progress.”

  3. Sandra says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Hilary! I’ll send you my e-mail right away. I assume you don’t mind me replacing mine with your trash-less version? 🙂

    Beth — I thought that too. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live surrounded by such clever things they have created. 🙂

  4. Hilary says:

    Sandra, I’m fine with you replacing it. Did you get it? I sent it off shortly after I got your email.

  5. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I figured out how to do it! The trash has officially been taken out! Thanks for taking care of that little task for me. 🙂

  6. Erica Jayne says:

    hi, this place looks fab. i am doing the last year of a degree in 3D Design and Craft and my work and research leans towards encorparating recycling into the finished Pieces. please could you tell me the name and address of these artists so i could bring them into my research? would you mind also if i used one of your picures in the resarch body?

    Many Thanks

  7. Sandra says:

    Hi, Erica

    It really was a great place to see, but it was on a tour that I took last year, so I’ll have to contact a friend who might have their names and address. If you will leave a response to this and include your e-mail, I’ll be able to e-mail the info to you when I get it. And I don’t see any problem with you using one of my pictures, which one were you thinking about?


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