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Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery Bottletree

Blue bottletree at Hillsborough Arts Council

New York may have their Macy’s windows, but we have the Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery!

Fall brings the wonderful “Last Friday” events in Hillsborough to a seasonal close, and last night’s music- and art-filled event was a fitting finale to another wonderful year of celebrating the arts in Hillsborough.

Strolling down historic Churton Street, we were drawn to the glittering lights of the beautiful Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery. Featured in their window was a blue bottletree!  This particular one had the curvy, organic signature stamp of Jeremy Stollings, and – yes – this is a sample of his work.

The best thing about this exhibit, however, is the big tree’s smaller cousins. Let’s say you have a small yard, or an apartment balcony, or a shared space of one kind or another. You can still enjoy the mystical beauty of a miniature bottletree.

Check out these smaller trees — one even has tiny little bottles. And you might gain some inspiration from the use of copper buckets of sand if you want an easy, removable installation. A bottletree for every yard!

Miniature Bottletrees by Jeremy Stollings

Miniature Bottletrees by Jeremy Stollings

Rusted Roots photo Indoor Hillsborough Arts Council bottletree Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery window

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NC Museum of History “Southern Impressions” Now Open

southern impressions

Southern Impressions at the NC Museum of History

The eagerly anticipated “Southern Impressions” exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh is now open to the public (free admission).

We got a chance to see the exhibit when it opened, and we were deeply moved and inspired to see the beautiful artwork, the evocative artifacts, and the glittering bottletree which greets visitors upon entering. The bottletree was commissioned by the Museum and built by Hillsborough artist Jeremy Stollings.

Most of all, we loved the multi-layered effect of all the items and artwork together, representing centuries of connections among people, culture, and landscape of the South. As southerners ourselves, we hold these things dear, and love the way the bottletree helps represent the many converging traditions in the South, stretching back through Africa, Europe, and Asia.

We highly recommend visiting this thoughtful and lovely exhibit. The Museum is located at 5 East Edenton Street in Raleigh, and is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.

bottle tree with blue bottles at the NC Museum of History

Bottletree artist Jeremy Stollings places one last bottle on his organically inspired tree, “Rusted Roots.”

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Bottletree Field Trip to Ironwood Crafts Workshop

Yesterday we were so excited to visit sculptor Jeremy Stollings of Ironwood Crafts at his workshop in Hillsborough, NC.  We got a sneak preview of Stollings’s newest project, a commissioned piece for an upcoming exhibit at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.

The piece to be displayed at the Museum is a tall, airy bottletree made from rolled steel, soaring in twists and turns, with plenty of room for classic blue bottles and maybe even a bird’s nest!



That’s not Jeremy, by the way. 🙂



North Carolina Museum of History presents “Southern Impressions,” opening Dec 11, 2015.

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37 Paintings on loan from the James-Farmer Collection, and museum artifacts

The Museum’s exhibit is called “Southern Impressions: Paintings from the James-Farmer Collection,” opening December 11, 2015.

According to the Museum web site, “this exhibit will explore stories of southern people, culture, and landscape through loaned paintings—from the collection of Dr. Nancy Farmer and Dr. Everette James, of Chapel Hill—and museum artifacts.”

Of course, we’re super excited about the inclusion of a bottletree in the exhibit, helping to represent southern folklife and our varied and rich cultural history.

As one of the tallest trees Stollings has built, this one presented a few challenges, including the fact that, unlike most bottletrees, this one won’t be planted in the ground.

Stollings turned the challenge into an opportunity to give the bottletree something very few have ever had — roots! Welded onto a sturdy base that will provide stability as well as unique design, the tree will be able to stand freely inside the Museum, and possibly be moved to other locations.

Thank you, Jeremy, for the wonderful tour of your workshop. We can’t wait to learn more about the exhibit and see this beautiful bottletree installed in Raleigh!

Check out the Ironwood Crafts Facebook page to see videos of Stollings working on the tree — you can almost see it come to life!




ironwood crafts jeremy stollings bottletree12



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Small Bottletree for Sale at Durham Garden Center

Metal Bottletree for SaleYesterday, we spotted this cute metal bottletree for sale at Durham Garden Center on Hillsborough Road in Durham (near Bennett Place).

It sells for $79.99 before tax, and appears to be about 6 feet tall. Just wanted to share!

Durham Garden Center

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Local Artist Available for Custom Bottletree Orders

jeremy-stollings-ironwood-crafts-4We get lots of emails from our readers asking about local options for buying metal bottletrees, so we wanted to share this source with you.

For a custom-made, all-steel bottletree inspired by nature, you can contact Jeremy Stollings of Ironwood Crafts in Durham, NC. An average 7′ tree, which can hold 15-20 bottles, costs about $100, depending on the design.

You can reach him via email at or visit him in person at the Durham Craft Market, weekly on Saturday mornings on Foster Street in Durham. For more information, please visit

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Pro Tip: Bottled Water in Cobalt Blue Glass

blue glass bottled waterOn a reader tip (thanks, Jeffery Beam!), we just got some blue glass bottles for our bottletree at Trader Joe’s.

This is a great option for collecting blue bottles. While we were at Trader Joe’s we also saw an amazingly huge, oversized blue wine bottle, but we didn’t think our cedar tree was sturdy enough for it.

What are some of your pro tips for collecting interesting or pretty glass bottles?

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New book on bottletrees by Felder Rushing available now

Bottletree expert extraordinaire, Felder Rushing, has a new book now available. Bottle Trees and the Whimsical Art of Garden Glass, copyright 2013. You can order it on Amazon or from your favorite local bookshop.

We can’t wait to see all the pictures and read about his travels around the country seeing garden glass of all shapes and sizes!

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