Friday, August 19, 2011

Farmbrook Designs - Custom Planters

Late last November I had the brilliant idea of hosting an Open House in my studio, inviting folks to sample the artwork of a number of local, Michigan-based artists, many of whom do work relating in some way to gardening.  One of the featured artists was my friend Chris Hopp, of Farmbrook Designs.

One of the folks who came to the Open House was my good friend Barb Radtke.  Barb, and her husband Ray, have been long-time pottery customers, having purchased a number of my flowers, which they have placed to great effect around the patio in the back of their house.  Barb and Ray eventually purchased a couple pieces from Chris, including a lantern and a fountain.

Like many artists, Chris has a series of pieces he produces on spec, including lanterns, some fountains, tables, benches, monoliths and, of course, many types of planters, small and large, including footed pieces.  Like many artists, Chris also does commission work, as he did my troughs and fountain over the past year or so.  Barb and Ray wanted two very tall, large hypertufa planters for their front porch, one quite rectilinear and the other egg-shaped and commissioned Chris to produce them.

It took Chris a while to work through the details.  I actually had the opportunity to see Chris's shop in recent trip to the Lansing area and the work that goes into making the molds for these types of pieces is significant.  Chris has to create different sections of each mold, keying them to fit together properly.  Seeing the pieces in the shop and hearing his explanation of the manner in which he made the sections gave me a fresh appreciation for the work Chris does; the guy could be an engineer, for goodness sake - and I guess he really is, when you get down to it.

These are images of the final pieces.  Apparently, Barb had the same response when she saw them as I did - WOW!  "WOW!" indeed.

Don't forget our Garden Tour, tomorrow, Saturday, August 20, 10a-2p!

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