(DOUG JESSOP’S UTAH SUCCESS STORIES – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. What do you these things have in common? A hydraulic gasket seal, a deep mine drill bit, a helmet, springs, bolts, nuts, spark plugs? The answer – things this artist uses.
Fred Conlon told me; “I weld stuff out of things that people don’t consider to be very valuable… — I go to work and take that stuff and make it valuable.”
Fred Conlon, Owner of Sugarpost, has been making people smile for 20 years. It all started with a turtle…
“What makes art attractive? It makes you smile; it makes you laugh, but it’s the meaning behind the piece that give it value” Fred said with a grin.
What is the meaning behind the turtle? Come to find out it’s a whimsical tribute to his grandfather who served in World War II.
“I saw this giant pile of old army helmets. I had a little moment there remembering my grandpa, of war happening quickly, and I thought peace on the other hand moves pretty slowly and turtles move slowly so, I thought, why not make a turtle out of an old army helmet to make things kinda full circle.”
That whimsy is contagious and solving a serious problem found in many gardens across the country GNOMES AND FLAMINGOS!
Fred put it this way; “The little characters that carry the gnomes out of the garden or rip apart pink flamingos tend to be the most popular pieces. – I’ve kind of got the recipe down for the little monsters that I call the gnome-be-gones. Well I love to do custom work. I’d love to make something with a fedora today.”
I love to do participatory stories and get my hands dirty. We went to his room of spare parts and bits and bobs and then started bending steel and welding.
He showed me a very cool sculpture and said, “These are probably my favorite thing to make. Full size skeletons. On that Ironworker I can bend these wrenches for ribs and use all the parts I have to make a skeleton. This one happens to be the yoga skeleton tree pose”
What is amazing is that this skeleton actually shoots flames out of its fingers!
Be on the watch for Fred’s daughter Vivian…The Force is strong with this one. She actually made a Thai fighter from Star Wars for her valentine day box.
Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode and share it with someone that you know that like to have fun and smile.
Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
You can see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success
With another Utah Success Story, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.