Monday, February 10, 2014

Roadtrip Surprise - Greenville, NC - The Artwork of Jonathan Bowling

After being over stimulated in the best possible way at the East Carolina University Metals Symposium several weeks ago, I enjoyed taking the long way home to Vass.

My day began with visits to a few local thrift stores of a more upscale nature. At the last one, I asked if they had any recommendations for a shop or two with an industrial twist to their offerings. They made a suggestion, and I set off in search of found object treasures.

I could feel the neighborhoods shift as I drew closer.  This is always a good sign.  Then, much to my surprise, a circle of fire dogs appeared in the distance. (As the wife of a firefighter, I can recognize fire extinguishers or a Maltese Cross from half a mile away!) You know I had to stop for a photo...or two...or three...or thirty, and when I did, I discovered a lot that was chock full of artsy metal goodness. Photos complete, there were three sculptural turtles waiting for me at the next stop sign. As I made a left turn, a virtual creative critter crossing appeared before me. To say that it was absolutely amazing would be an understatement.

Sadly, Jonathan Bowling, the artist responsible for all of these magnificent creatures, was out of town during my visit. I spent at least an hour exploring and admiring his sculptures, and one was better than the next. Not only does he use many of my favorite cast off metal parts and pieces in all that he creates, he does so with a soft touch and an intention of placement and composition the likes of which I've never seen.

These photos tell the story better than I possibly could with words, and still not as well as a visit in person will do. If you can manage it, this is a destination that you won't want to miss.

Now, on to the magical world inhabited by the creature creations of Jonathan Bowling...


I can almost hear her!

A group of goats is called a tribe.
Yet another reason to love goats!
A Sounder of Swine.

This little fellow begged to go home with me.
(Ken, hint... hint...he'd be even better than a Muffler Man!)
The Hobbyhorse Store Front. 
The Guardian.
Call.  If you love this work as much as I do, please call.
You'll be glad that you did. 



  1. WOW! If there could only be (1) more hours in the day, or (2) more than one of me!? Great finds on the long way home :) I did enjoy my side venture to see the Whirligigs, tho'!

  2. You would love everything about them, Jeanne! Road trip?!?!? :-)

  3. I know, Penny! You'll be stunned when you realize how close we were to these beauties throughout the weekend.

    My love affair with Mr. Simpson's Whirligigs continues; I just had to break my adventures from this particular roadtrip into multiple posts. It's a good problem to have. :-)

  4. Incredible!! I am so going here with my mom when we travel down to Dixie and Ocracoke!

  5. You're going to love it, Brittany! We're going to be in touch soon with a questionnaire for ReMe attendees. Once we know your travel plans, we'll share all of our favorite detours and attractions with you. :-)

  6. how he manages to place so many diverse parts into such a realistic shape of a cow lowering her head and mooing is incredible. what a talent!

  7. I know, Mary. He's crazy good. You're going to love them in person! :-)