Garden Gallery Showcases Artists’ Imaginations

Garden Gallery Showcases Artists’ Imaginations

Show attendees loved the creative and whimsical gates in the “My Garden Gate” exhibit at the 2011 show.

Last year the garden show brought back the popular feature, “My Garden Gate,” an exhibit of hand-crafted gates from both regional and out-of-state artists. The gates were made from a wide variety of materials, and included many imaginatively repurposed items. This year we’re giving the exhibit a new twist with “Garden Gallery” which will feature garden seating (chairs and benches) and birdbaths.

Bob Bowling Rustics in Langley on Whidbey Island, a new exhibitor at the show, and entered the gate competition last year. He’s going to the birds this year, creating the ultimate in bird watching with a one-of-a-kind chair. Titled, “A Better View,” the piece mimics a lifeguard chair, but is equipped with the bird lover in mind. The charming, rustic structure, like all of Bob’s pieces, is handmade entirely from reclaimed and recycled materials, and will add a touch of whimsy to the garden. It is a delightful and functional piece of artwork for serious or aspiring Birders, or just those who love the idea of something eclectic in their garden sanctuary. You could really catch the bird action in this chair.

Nancy Searcy was inspired to create this bird bath after visiting a Florida garden.

Nj Searcy of NJ Searcy Metals from Amado, Arizona, also had a piece in the gate exhibit last year. She’s back this year with a metal and ceramic bird bath sure to delight birds and humans alike. It was inspired by a trip with her mother to Bok Tower Gardens in Florida. The reflecting pond in front of the tower has giant lily pads with huge beautiful flowers. Nj was just mesmerized by the plants, and determined to use them in a design. The bowl is ceramic, and getting the color just right was a challenge. The base is welded steel and includes seed plates, a plow disk and crusher screen elements as representations of lily pads and grasses. Since Nj is a ‘desert rat’ and surrounded by desert in Arizona, she confesses to a frustrated love of gardening. She’s often inspired to create colorful, light-hearted pieces from the world around her just to bring the green goodness of gardening into her life.Bothell’s John Daoura of Dakota Craftworks is creating a piece that is his own version of the classic Adirondack chair, made from used wine casks! The natural curves from a wine barrel and the wineglass holders in the arms make it a natural place to sit and relax while enjoying any outdoor space. For over 20 years John has been creating unique wood furniture from used wine barrels, sourced from local wineries. The wood, which is actually white oak, has unique stains from the wine itself which makes every piece distinctive – no two pieces are alike. Each piece is sealed with two coats of clear marine-grade sealer to protect it from the elements. Wouldn’t you love to kick back after a day in the garden with a glass of wine in your wine barrel chair?

Detail from Ray Hammer’s “Mushroom of Light” made from recyled metals.

Ray Hammer is an industrial artist and owner of Blue Collar Artwork In Sequim, specializing in the use of repurposed and recycled metals, glass and plastics. About 95% of his pieces are recycled and reused materials. This year he is creating a birdbath using reclaimed materials and calling it “Mushroom of Light.” It will include underwater fiberoptic cable, disc harrow blades, clutch plates, car gasoline lines and handmade chain from the early 1900’s. (Where does he get this stuff?!) The bird bath is also a light made with low-voltage LED system (very efficient and the bulb lasts for years).

Joe Clifton, owner of Clifton Metal Works in Vancouver, Washington, has dreamed up a birdbath from recycled materials and a custom pottery bowl created just for this whimsical piece. It features a giant cat that is holding the bowl in its front paws, with a devious smile on its face that shows it just can’t wait for a bird to take him up on the offer to land in the bird bath.

Doug Mader, owner of Courtyard Art from Dundee, Oregon, is also doing a birdbath, with the title of “Grass.” He was reminded of the movement of tall grass in the breeze when he designed the sweeping and intersecting lines. He incorporated blades of grass overhanging the bowl so that birds have a place to land and access the area when arriving at the bird bath, before immersing in the cool bath or taking a drink. The dramatic piece is made from heavy steel and is powder-coat finished to provide a clean, dramatic focal point in the garden for years. The bowl is shallow enough for all birds and the piece can be specially ordered in a variety of colored finishes.

The Garden Gallery artists are using forged steel, glass, copper, ceramic, wood and repurposed items to create their chairs, benches and birdbaths.

The remaining artists exhibiting in the 2012 Garden Gallery include Gunter Reiminitz of Abraxas Crow from Port Townsend; Gina Nash of Experienced Materials from Portland; Bellingham’s Joe Clark from Architectural Elements and Brett Cleveland of Red Grass Design.

Many of these artists are also exhibitors at the show, so stop by their booth and see more of their creative works or talk about a custom piece for your own garden. ~ Janet

Abraxas Crow Company – Booth 1018
Bob Bowling Rustics – Booth 401
Clifton metal Works – Booth 1206
Courtyard Art – Booth 1219
Experienced Materials – Booth 502
NJ Search Metals – Booth 508
Red Grass Design – Booth 1207



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