Kim Carson, who operates Wildflowers Home Decor in Waverly, sees beauty in junk.
Junk is Carson’s art.
“America is the most wasteful country on the planet,” Carson said. “So many people throw things away that can be used. I fix up old furniture and I build furniture out of different things. I have a coffee table that’s out of old barn wood and the metal piece from an old fire ring. Somebody had thrown that out and I thought, well, it’s perfectly usable. I love old ironwork.”
Carson formerly worked at The Hello Shop in Waverly.
“When my boss there sold in the spring, I just decided to go and do what I’ve always loved to do which is build furniture ,” said Carson. “I’ve done this probably 20 years or more. I’ve done it since my children were young because, like most young people, we didn’t have much much money to start out. My husband worked at Brown (Publishing) at the time and he would bring me home pallets. I started building things with those before it was cool.”
Carson said she has her own power tools for crafting repurposed items, from circular saws and jig saws to drills and import drills.
“I have pretty much all the tools,” she said. “I have more tools than my husband has.”
Carson markets her work at Perry Glass.
“I’ve worked down there with Marci (Perry of Perry Glass) for a long time, years and years. I’ve decorated for her, painted a mural for her in her daughter’s bedroom; I used to clean up the shop for her. A lot of times the guys in the back and (Marci) would call me in on special projects that maybe they needed a more creative look at if someone wanted something done,” Carson said. “I drop stuff off (at Perry Glass), but I don’t actually work here.”
Items crafted by Kim and available for viewing at Perry Glass include a hanging light made from a cast iron urn, a child’s art desk, end tables, shelves, a hall tree made from an old door with original hardware, photo frames made of old windows, a mirror made from an old window, a spice rack and alcohol shelf made from a wooden cigarette dispenser removed from an old store, wood chairs, a tea table, side table, and more.
Carson said she finds materials for her projects “everywhere.”
Everywhere, to Kim, includes second hand shops, yard sales, unused buildings, or along roadways where unwanted items are set out to be hauled off by garbage collectors.
“There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but nobody knows what to do with it so I take it home,” said Carson. “And a lot of these things are ready for the heap or the woodpile. All it would take is a little bit of time and you could really make (these items) look nice.”
Carson said she will complete custom orders.
“If you have old junk that you don’t know what to do with, you can send me a picture. I can give you some ideas or I’ll do (the work) for you.”
“I like junk. I think I got a lot of that from my (grandmother); she had a lot of antiques,” Carson said. “She had a lot of junk. She came from the 20s. When she was reared, people back then didn’t throw things out — they used them. That’s what I’m trying to do, save some landfill spaces, reuse things, repurpose them.”
“Everything has a story, and it’s good to keep the story going, make your own story with it,” Carson said.
Carson’s work may be purchased at Perry Glass at 109 West North Street (across from Helton’s Feed & Seed) in Waverly, or on her Wildflowers Home Decor Facebook page. Carson may be contacted by phone at (740) 708-4279.