Sculptor Rescues Discarded Tractors, Dowagia Daily News, Nov. 28, 2008

Union sculptor rescues discarded tractors By MARCIA STEFFENS / Dowagiac Daily News Friday, November 28, 2008 10:16 AM EST UNION - Living in the country, it isn't unusual to see an old cultivator or plow sitting in a rusted state in the yard with a farm house nearby. Those walking along the end of Sunset Boulevard, near Wayne on Baldwin Lake, though, tend to stop when they go by Chris and Robin Jaworski's home. Since the couple came to Union late in 2005, they have transformed the 18-acre lakefront property into a home for Chris' creatures. Birds and dinosaurs interact among flowers and metal people. After 20 years of farming and operating Jaworski Landscape and Nursery in Osceola, Ind., they instead turned to this property in Michigan for inspiration. They took out overgrown bushes and trees and replaced them with garden beds of healthy shrubs, evergreens, deciduous trees and colorful perennials. The old goat barn is gone with a rustic gazebo in its place. Rows of nursery stock grow in the former horse pasture, along with Chris' "stock" of old farm implements. The vintage farm equipment he takes and welds into 15-foot dinosaurs and steel birds. "My earliest pieces have parts from the equipment three generations of my family used to grow crops and maintain our farm. Now, I rescue retired and discarded machines from tractor graveyards and farm auctions," Chris said. "I dismantle, clean and sort the recycled components. Inspired and challenged by the shape of a particular piece, I begin by assembling and later welding the steel into a completely unique work. "I strive to use the components in my sculptures without changing their original form. The shape of the metal tells us what it wants to be," he explained. Visitors are being welcomed to come and view his work and even purchase pieces for their own garden and landscapes. The studio and gardens are at 70877 Sunset Blvd. in Union and will be open beginning now through Christmas, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The unique sculpture is a one of a kind gift, made by a Michigan artist. Chris exhibits his sculptures throughout the United States and has been featured in Direct Art Magazine, Lake Magazine and on "Open Studio," a WNIT television broadcast. His work is part of a permanent collection of Kinsey Gallery at Indiana University and has received awards from the curator of The Chrysler Museum of Art and from an art critic for The New York Times. This year he received the award for Best Sculpture at the 47th annual Krasl Fine Art Fair in St. Joseph and also at the 11th annual Carmel International Arts Festival in Carmel, Ind. "Chris is soon to be introducing a new mixed media," said his wife, Robin, who has been with Cressy and Everett since 1998 and is a broker associate in Indiana and Michigan. These pieces "will add wood to the farm steel," she said. "We travel a lot and pieces are at different galleries in the summer," she explained. Being open before Christmas gives people a chance to see more of his work. The couple has a blended family of four girls and one "football player," she said. Three are in college and two are seniors at Marian High School in Mishawaka, Ind. Kayla, their youngest and a Marian senior, is doing her school co-op with her father working on the gardens and helping in the art studio. She hopes to attend Purdue University and study horticulture. Chris has a bachelor of science in horticulture from Purdue and Robin has a bachelor's from Indiana University South Bend. Visit his Web site, www.ChrisJaworski.com, for more information.