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It’s not  “How do you do think of all this?”  It’s more of “What can I do with this?”  When it is your job to repurpose things into art, you really ponder that question. And with a workshop full of possibilities, it turns to fun. When you call your gallery a repurposing gallery, then “if you build it, they will come” really comes in to play. Every day, someone comes into our galleries with something to show, or something they themselves have repurposed to sell. It really makes us happy to recycle things. The collaboration between people and things is the gas in our engine.

Our galleries are a family business and between the four of us we make about half of what’s in our store.  We make drinking glasses from old soda pop bottles. With the necks, we tumble and then string the necks onto ropelights for a lighted bottleneck swags. If the cap is still on the bottle the neck becomes a shot glass. Vacationers always drop off empty wine bottles and brown grocery bags which the latter we use at checkout. We add the wine bottle necks to the bottleneck swags and the wine bottle bottoms become vessels for our in house made soy candles. We also make framed mirrors with tumbled glass shards from bottle diggers. We repurpose old windows by adding resin and laying colorful glass shards and bottle bottom slices. A modern twist to the stained glass window. We repurpose vintage album covers and hubcaps into clocks. Will makes all kinds of repurposed furniture updating and reconfiguring pieces. He also makes clever sea creatures and can whip up a lamp out of most anything. (Musical instruments, buoys, even a football helmet.)

If you’ve seen our 10 ft. license plate wave on the outside of our Nags Head building you might have noticed they are all numbers. The second half of the plates, which are letters become the source of all the license plate signs we make. We repurpose lumber from local pier repair, barn dismantles and weathered wood left on the side of the road, or from flea markets. We cut and apply the letters to make word signs; IMAGINE, DANCER, BEACH, SURF, OBX. Of course. we do lots of custom.

We have our favorite pickers. Those that beachcomb, those that have boats and waders, those that don’t mind knocking on doors or those that dig for old bottles. Our favorite artists constantly amaze us with fish from driftwood and picket fence slats, driftwood wreaths and baskets, lovely beach scenes painted on old windows, pouches sewn  from vintage fabric, wallets and bags sewn from vinyl billboards… the list goes on. It’s ever changing. Our ideas keep coming and so do others with their repurposing creations. And the material, the ‘stuff’ just always turns up. We never know what will pull into the parking lot. Every day is a new creative repurposing challenge.