I was driving down a fairly small road in the middle of southern Missouri (near Marshfield) this morning and something caught my eye. There was a giant sculpture of a rhinoceros made entirely out of horseshoes! As I craned my neck to see what was going on, I caught a glimpse of an entire collection of random creatures and forms, lurking in the garden of a small home in the country.
Noticing someone outside doing yard work, I quickly turned around and pulled into their driveway. In front of me was a small zoo of creatures of all sizes. The grey haired woman waving a weed eater around noticed us and came over to talk. She introduced herself as Mary Domby and explained that she’d be happy to show us around as long as I’d start her weed eater back up for her before I left. I eagerly agreed, as did my 11 year old son who happened to be with me.
Mary was happy to let me film her husbands legacy (on my phone, it was all I had) but declined to be on video. Consider for a moment, it was over 90 degrees outside and she had been using a weed eater! She was pouring sweat and covered head to toe with shredded grass.
Mary explained that her husband Bill, a retired trucker, was the artist and that he had passed away. In the late 1990’s or early 2000’s Bill had started playing around with welding bits of metal. The hobby grew and grew resulting in this bestiary of epic proportions. Ultimately, Bill passed away leaving Mary to maintain the zoo. She has since decided that it would be best if the pieces went off to be enjoyed by the rest of the world, and she’s willing to sell them. While they do have vague prices assigned to them (a task Bill tackled before he passed), she says she’s willing to negotiate and all you have to do is call her at (407) 468-3847. Just to give you a rough example of the pricing, the giraffe and rhinoceros were both labelled as $5000 in Bill’s little notebook. Mary was sure to remind me that she’s not set on those prices.
Not all pieces are for sale though. There are the eagles which Bill’s children have laid claim to, as well as the giant bear sculptures. Mary says the eagles absolutely are not for sale, but maybe the kids could be convinced to let the bears go for the right price.
I didn’t go inside the house, but Mary explained that she had little rose sculptures all over in there. She wasn’t sure if she was going to sell those. “They were gifts you know? Once those are gone, there won’t be any more”
I’m sure you can tell how excited I was, when you watch the video above. I absolutely love finding these hidden treasures and I have to say that it was very hard not to leave with that toad. Heck, I may have to go back and pick it up.
Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.
I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at firstname.lastname@example.orgView more articles by Caleb Kraft