- Arts and Design
2nd Time Designs: Recycled Metal Art Sculptures
Recycled Metal Gets New Life as Whimsical Sculptures
Creating works of art at the Hagen household is a family affair. Lou Hagen does the welding and his wife Judy does the painting. Both do the creating and the myriad of other steps necessary to bring their recycled metal art sculptures and designs to life. This couple has evolved into a formidable team that makes artwork guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of everyone who sees their imaginative creations.
I had the pleasure of viewing and photographing some of their work at the Lewes, DE, Fourth of July Arts and Crafts show yesterday. I then drove to Slaughter Beach, DE and visited the DuPont Nature Center at the Mispillion Harbor Reserve where their giant, 6 foot replica of a red knot, affectionately known as "Knottie" is on display. I'll tell Knottie's story in a moment, but first I want to tell you a little bit more about where Judy and Lou's work has been highlighted.
It's been featured on WHYY News, WBOC-TV (Fox and CBS Network), WMDT-TV (ABC Network), Delaware State News, Wilmington News Journal, and in the book, Delaware Curiosities by Beth Rubin. Judy and Lou Hagen have also been featured on the "Offbeat America" HGTV program.
In addition to Knottie, they have other large sculptures on display at the Wilmington Blue Ball Dairy Barn Folk Art Museum, the Waterfowl Ward Museum in Salisbury, MD, and multiple pieces at the Children's Guild in Baltimore. And if you're lucky enough to visit Great Britain and Moscow, Russia you might also view their work in those countries.
Now that you've learned a little bit about their background, let's go see some of their creations starting with Knottie.
Knottie, The DuPont Nature Center Greeter
Knottie Looking Out at the Delaware Bay
Knottie's Creation Story
When the Hagens were commissioned to develop a sculpture for the DuPont Nature Center they began by using several realistic models of the red knot, a small shore bird that visits the Delaware Bay every spring. The red knot is an endangered species and spends about 2 weeks resting and gorging on the eggs of the spawning horseshoe crabs on the banks of the Delaware estuary, so that they can build up the fat reserve needed to complete their 15,000 mile migration from the tip of South America to the Arctic Circle.
Looking at the plump little bodies of the red knot, the Hagens decided to use a big air tank for Knottie's midsection. Lou then attached the head, neck, legs, beak and wings. The basic structure was sturdy enough to let Lou hop on and "ride" like a cowboy.
There was still much work to be done on the details, but Knottie arrived on time for his debut and was unveiled amid much fanfare. Even Governor Minner was on hand to welcome him.
Colorful Spinner Flowers Have Pinwheel Action
Spinner Flowers Made From Recycled Bicycle Wheels
Though much smaller than Knottie, the brightly colored spinner flowers are prettier and more charming. About as tall as a 3 or 4 year old child, each flower's center is made of a recycled bicycle wheel that's attached to a metal stem and spins like a pinwheel when even a modest breeze blows. The flowers come in different designs and colors, and both sides are painted so they can be appreciated from any angle.
Giant Colorful, Pansies and Ladybug
Cluster of Giant Pansies With Ladybug on Stem
Though they lack the action of the spinner flowers, the giant pansies are just as whimsical and the ladybug detail on one of the stems shows the degree of detail that the Hagens use in their recycled metal creations.
Though I didn't get a picture of the backside of the pansies, it is also painted so it looks great from all directions.
Colorful Giant Fish Garden Sculptures
Hey, AA Zavala, It's A Camaflage Helmut Turtle!
Giant Dragonfly Sculpture in Lewes Garden
Judy Hagen at Lewes Arts and Crafts Show
I Love These Sculptures: Where Do I Get One?
Lou and Judy Hagen welcome visitors to their studio/home on route 24 in Millsboro, Delaware which is about 10 miles from the beach towns of Lewes and Rehoboth. Studio visits are by appointment at 302-945-3988 or by chance. The house number is 26380 Rt. 24, Millsboro and the front yard is delightfully conspicuous due to the latest metal sculptures that are always on display and are reason enough to swing by if you're in the area.
Potential buyers can visit the 2nd Time Designs website at http://www.2ndtimedesigns.com/general-information/about-us where they can find out more information regarding ordering and shipping.