When Middlesboro resident Ann Madon lost a job due to cutbacks, she knew she had to find something to do, a hobby of some sort that would occupy her time. It had to be something she could do all year, not just a spring/summer hobby like gardening, which she also enjoys. She also wanted something that would be physically challenging.
Madon found the answer at a garden center in Knoxville — making flower pots from old tires.
She says her interest in the craft was peeked for a couple of reasons. One being that she remembered seeing tires filled with multi-colored flowers and plants in yards from her childhood. The fact that it was a “green” craft in more ways than one as it involves recycling as well as gardening also scored points with Madon. The fact that it is artistic also intrigued her. So, she bought one, brought it home, did some research and began making them.
“I bought one in Knoxville, Googled it to learn how to to do it and just started making them,” said Madon.”I remembered seeing them from my childhood, and I thought it was interesting and artistic, and I could recycle tires at the same time.”
After making the first one, Madon says she was hooked and she hasn’t stopped making them since.
She started out with lawn mower tires, but in the three years she has been making them has progressed to using automobile and go-cart tires as well. To make the rubbery flower pots, she first cuts the design into the tire and then turns it inside out, which is where the physically challenging aspect comes in.
Once the tire is turned inside out, Madon paints it according to whatever design she has used. Her designs include a watermelon, daisy petal, star burst, tulip, and one she created herself that she calls Miss Ann’s Classic.
In addition to the flower pots, she also makes mirrors from tires, and jack-o-lanterns from the go-cart tires. At the Redbud Garden Party held recently at the Arthur Museum in Middlesboro, Madon sported a lamp shade chapeau made from a tire, which won her the “I Can’t Believe She Wore That” category in the hat contest. This prize went to the wearer of the craziest, most outrageous hat at the party.
Turning the tires inside out takes some muscle, and at first, Madon says she had to have the help of her husband Dan to do it. Over the years, and hundreds of flower pots later, however, she now does it all by herself. She says the process from start to finish is about one and a half to two hours for each project.
Samples of Madon’s work is on display at Laymon’s Produce in Middlesboro, as well as Fabulous Me and Gerties in Cumberland Gap, Tenn. She also recently displayed her re-crafted tire flower pots at the grand opening of Erin Meadows Herb Farm in Oliver Springs, Tenn.
For more information contact Madon at email@example.com
Lifestyles/Business Editor Donna Greene can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org