We came across this funky, reclaimed wood art on Instagram. The artist is Ridley Stallings from Savannah, Georgia. Ridley is a folk artist. She has a talent for reclaiming materials from old Southern homes and transforming them into handcrafted works of art. Read on to find out more about her process.
Ridley was inspired to begin upcycling after 9/11. She wanted to create and sell American flags and donate part of the proceeds. Based on the success of her flag art, she has branched out to create many different designs. Among these are: animals, guitars and beer bottles.
Ridley’s reclaimed wood art is created from old homes that have fallen into disrepair and been abandoned. The structural elements of these houses include gorgeous carved crown moulding and solid wooden planks that were once used for siding. Ridley collects these, as well as: bead board, groove floors and barn wood to use as the base of her pieces.
After scouring Georgia for materials, Ridley heads back to her studio. She and her 3 awesome employees each work on a different part of the creation process. First the base of the piece is created and then wooden sections are cut to fit. These pieces are then sanded, painted and coated with poly. Upcycled materials such as vintage metal knobs, horseshoes and ceiling tins are used for accents. There is a family-like atmosphere in the workshop with 5 dogs in the mix!
It definitely looks like Ridley has figured out how to have fun and work hard at the same time. Check out her head of shipping!
Ridley gets her inspiration from her surroundings. Music, the coast, fashion and her dogs all inspire her. She is especially motivated by seeing the possibilities that lie within something that has been forgotten. Ridley says she loves bringing new life into materials that already have a story.
I keep my eyes peeled and my mind open and before I know it I have an idea for a new design in my head!
We love the variety of Ridley’s designs. Her flags are special because they launched her on her upcycling path. Ridley has since been commissioned to create pieces for restaurants and even a logo for the set of a television show!
Her advice to aspiring upcyclers is to find your passion and work hard at it. Ridley loves what she does, especially knowing that she is using materials that otherwise would end up in landfills.
I am continuously amazed to see the process every time from my head, to a sketch, through tons of sawdust and sweat and finally into a finished form! It’s like Christmas over and over again!
Thanks for sharing Ridley!
See more: Ridley Stallings Art