Home/Studio: In 2004, Laura and Don were fortunate to find and purchase a rural Mondovi, Wisconsin hobby farm constructed mainly from reclaimed materials from a storm-damaged barn. Cabinets, doors, and other items consist of material reclaimed and reused from a local university and hospital during renovations.
Bios: Don and Laura were both born in northern Wisconsin, and married in 1980. Aside from living in California, Texas, and briefly in Montana, have lived mainly in Wisconsin.
Don is a self-taught artist applying a lifetime of skills and experiences to an inventive imagination to create unique art using reclaimed materials. In the early 1970’s at 12 years old he was creating and selling rock and driftwood sculptures and hand-painted images on three dimensional media. He had a passion for art and industrial art courses that encouraged creativity using a variety of materials. After graduating from a welding and metal fabrication program he began dabbling in metal sculptures, but eventually left art behind to pursue various careers while living in Wisconsin, California, and briefly in Montana with Laura, his wife of 40 years.
Although Don applied his skills to restoring classic vehicles, remodeling, and occasional art projects, he mainly worked as an IT professional in the Chippewa Valley. He eventually obtained a B.S. and M.S. in Technical Education from UW-Stout, and recently retired as a Senior Lecturer from UW-Eau Claire to work full time as an artist.
“You just can’t duplicate the texture and feel of well-used time-worn vintage reclaimed iron, steel, and wood, so sculpting in that medium is my passion. However, I enjoy incorporating stained glass and other materials into my work to compliment and offer a unique balance to older materials.”Don
Laura has always been involved in creative endeavors. She has taken the practical skills learned from her parents while growing up in a rural self-sufficient home, and combined them with artistic, creative hobbies she has developed over the years to produce a wide array of art, gifts, and practical items.
Although she initially worked in banking and the administrative field, she eventually started her dance studio and taught classical ballet, tap, jazz, belly dance, and other forms of dance for most of her career. She currently works part time as a floral designer, giving her more time to work on her other creative outlets, which are apparent both inside and outside of her home. Some of these include photography, stained glass, glass fusing, bead-making, clay, sewing, quilting and more.
"In a buy it cheap, cookie cutter and throw it away world - there is something so satisfying about using these items to create something beautiful, unique and useful. Plus that sense of satisfaction at being able to support yourself, and create things to use and enjoy - made with your own hands. To express yourself and the feeling of accomplishment in a job well done. "