What's Your Motif?
Local museums offer a treasure trove of decorating ideas. Especially if you’re choosing a theme.
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Don’t throw away that used shock absorber. Judy and Lou Hagen can use it.
The Millsboro couple is the nationally recognized designer-welder team of 2nd Time Designs, which is known for turning recycled metal scraps into whimsical creations.
The Hagens’ large pieces can be seen at large places. A giant red knot bird guards the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve in Slaughter Beach. Their massive SpongeBob SquarePants hovers over a courtyard at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington.
The work was a hobby until the Hagens appeared on the HGTV show “Offbeat America” in 2006. Since then requests for commissioned work have been rolling in from everywhere.
The process always starts the same way: with a discarded piece of metal. “A part speaks to me,” Judy Hagen says. “It tells me it’s a seahorse.”
Tractor fan blades tell her they want to become purple pansies. Irrigation pipes long to be the legs of hippopotamuses. And combined, bicycle wheels, rainspouts, Christmas tree stands and garage door rollers are reborn as spinning flowers six feet tall.
Most work is priced by size but popular pieces are produced in bulk. Wall fish range from $350 to $550. Spinning male clown fish are $700, but females are more because they wear lipstick and copper eyelashes.
Despite the hoopla, the Hagens can’t live on scraps alone. “We’re not making a full-time living on art yet, but it’s our dream,” Judy Hagen says. So for now, both will keep their part-time day gigs—driving tractor-trailers.
Contact 2nd Time Designs at 945-3988, or email@example.com.