Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fool's Day: Gail Clearwater turns Trash to Treasure

Our own Outagamie Master Gardener Gail Clearwater's "Trash to Treasure" presentation at the Wisconsin Master Gardener Conference was one of the most anxiously awaited sessions with large numbers in attendance.   Her presentation included photos of her own creations from her home garden, featured on a number of local garden walks.  She also gathered photos of inspirational garden art, sharing ideas where to hunt for "trash" that can be used to create "treasures" to accent our own yards.

Creations Gail brought along for her presentation.
Kitchen vignette with pots on old stove, glass jug jars on shelf above it,
and pans and measuring cups hanging nearby
Old gumball machine filled with childhood
collection of bouncy balls
Bicycle wheel trellis for climbers, birdhouse and bird bath,
for feathered friends, and metal gardening gal dress up
garden shed behin.
Old window frames made into church in foreground and
trellis for climbers in background.
(Church window made of old lace doily.)
she used bowling pings for this piece.
Metallic nail polish dripped on bowling ball to create new variation on
bowling ball garden decor.
2 candlesticks connected to create stand
for sphere made of 2 glass globes covered
with glass mosaic.
Old metal Christmas tree stands stacked
to create a unique Christmas tree
Old shovel blades used to create a large flower in the garden.
Gail used a hammer dirll and masonry bit to drill through each rock and
then threaded them onto a sturdy metal pole.  She noted that rebar is not
sturdy enough to hold the rocks vertical, but will bend under the weight...

..but rebar is good choice to create a windblown bottle tree.
allowing bottles to sway in the breeze.
Gail's sister's glass bottle wall

Glass art butterfly
Flowers made of glass plates and bowls can be glued on old windows.
as an alternative to stacking and gluing them to construct totems.
Gail recommends glass pieces be glued together using: 
  • Amazing Goop Household/Hogar (try Menards)
  • E6000 (has strong smell, so should be used in a well-ventilated area)
She does not recommend leaving glass creations out in the winter where collecting water can do damage as it freezes and thaws.


  1. I am going to follow you! I enjoyed seeing the butterfly and I never saw the glass plate flowers on the windows like that before!

  2. Love love love your work, all of it you have inspired my fall and winter art work.

  3. Love love love your work, all of it you have inspired my fall and winter art work.

  4. You are truly inspiring... love love love, ill be back...