Second Life for Chicken Wire and Lawnmowers

A wire spade, club, heart, and diamond greet everyone who passes by the fence.

A wire spade, club, heart, and diamond greet everyone who passes by the fence.

When Carmen got tired of looking at a pile of chicken wire that once surrounded an old poultry pen, she tried to squish it into small wads. “‘A Spade Is a Spade’ is what resulted,” she told us. “After that I made other shapes of a card suite and then a wire man.

Carmen was a very lonely widow when she created the wire man. She stood him next to a building and shook his hand on her way to feed the chickens every day. “Half of my creations are useful, and the other half seem to cheer me up and release whatever this is that causes me to…well…to create. My new husband quickly takes old wire off to the recycle center. Not that he doesn’t like my art. He simply thinks I spend a lot of time trying to reuse… garbage.”

Carmen’s “The Driver” project is reminiscent of exhibits at children’s museums.

Carmen’s “The Driver” project is reminiscent of exhibits at children’s museums.

We Savage Sisters would never criticize someone for recycling wire into art and keeping it out of the landfill. So we are impressed with Carmen’s “The Driver” project, too.

“I salvaged the steering wheel off a riding lawnmower,” Carmen explains.  “It’s screwed to the post with a large washer, a smaller washer, and one large sheetrock screw. Driving a building is not every child’s dream, but children are intrigued by it anyway.”

The wire man extends a hand in friendly greeting. We’re sure he’s grateful that the essence of his composition didn’t end up in a landfill.

The wire man extends a hand in friendly greeting. We’re sure he’s grateful that the essence of his composition didn’t end up in a landfill.

She was able to salvage the lawnmower’s seat by attaching it to a heavy plank, which her husband lays across their motorboat. “It gives him back support and helps him fit in the boat better,” she says. They considered clamping it down, but the plank never moves unless her husband moves it.  The plank also serves as a great board for bait cutting while fishing.

The lawnmower-seat-on-a-plank is useful. The spade art cheers Carmen. Maybe the wire-man sculpture ended up being both cheerful and useful. “I wonder how much my wire man had to do with my choosing a six-foot-five husband?” she asks.

Written by Fiercely Frugal Savage Sister Diana
Photos by Carmen Davis-Stevens

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© 2009, The Savage Sisters

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