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trending Bonnie Gaynor paints a wooden fish. Her husband, John Gaynor, grinds a rebar dragonfly in his workshop. THE THRILL OF THE FIND “There’s nothing I love more than pulling over to the side of the road because somebody has thrown something away and I think I could do something with it,” says Bonnie Gaynor, a retired social worker from Wilmington. Gaynor and her husband, John, a retired high school teacher, make art from recycled wood, glass, metal and other materials. Their work, called reARTcycle, includes wind chimes made from teapots, wine bottles and spoons; humorous cats and dogs made from old fences; and garden sculpture “birdies” made from golf clubs. “We have 12 months of something blooming down here in Wilmington,” Gaynor says. “Lots of the stuff we make is focused on putting it in your yard.” Gaynor also acquires materials through friends, Craigslist, scrapyards, flea markets, garage sales, bargain shops and thrift stores. “I try to find out-of-the-way places where stuff isn’t fancy, where you might have to go through cobwebs to find some spoons,” Gaynor says. “It’s the thrill of the find.” Gaynor purchases some craft items, including wire and screws to connect pieces, but she focuses mainly on recycling used, found and saved materials such as potato mashers, whisks and bottle caps. John Gaynor’s balancing sculptures include pieces of metal integrated with used rebar. In addition to the challenge of creating something new with old materials, Gaynor also appreciates the green aspects of upcycling. “Sometimes when people look at our stuff I’ll say, ‘It’s one less bottle or one less whatever in the landfill,’” Gaynor says. “Hopefully sometimes people walk through our booth and look at our stuff and think a little harder about what they’re throwing away and what they could donate to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity.” Gaynor also gets requests to create art that incorporates specific items passed down from customers’ relatives. “Rather than have a piece sitting in your china closet getting all tarnished, you can actually enjoy it every day and think of your family member,” she says. 23 www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM


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