Sneads Ferry couple creates art from recycled copper roofing

Weathervanes

Laura Saddlemire, left, and husband Don Saddlemire, stand with two copper weathervanes at their Sneads Ferry home recently.

Don Bryan / The Daily News
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 09:05 AM.

After 20 years in the dollhouse and miniatures business, Sneads Ferry couple Don and Laura Saddlemire now up-cycle scrap metal to create unique and functional works of art.

The Saddlemires own and operate D&L Weathervanes, which offers handcrafted wall ornaments, charms and weathervanes. The couple creates custom patterns — a feature that keeps their work unique and personal.

“With a new design, sometimes it can be a little fun and challenging,” Don Saddlemire said. “Once a piece has been approved, shaping takes about two days and is followed by a two to three-week balancing process. The piece needs just the right surface area behind the rod to properly kick it around into the wind.”

Weathervanes are created from recycled copper shingles from a 1920’s Outer Banks home. Each ornament has a different color variation naturally created by nearly 100 years of weatherization. Some pieces have colorful bands caused by a striping effect after the creases and folded edges of the shingle are flattened out. All copper is left untreated, which allows the art to age organically with time.

“We don’t do any artificial coloring,” said Laura Saddlemire. “We feel that the variations of beauty in the natural product are what we want to focus on. It’s a good complement to our personalities. Don is very orderly, and I’m a little random.”

The couple first got into the business after deciding to create a personalized wedding gift for a family member. After the difficult task of locating all the pieces and learning how to put them together, the Saddlemires decided to continue using that knowledge.  

“It was a long learning process,” Don Saddlemire said. “Working with copper is really a lot of fun but it’s very unforgiving. Things are either right or they’re not.”



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