Blattel-Britton Studios Ó
By Carolyn M. Blattel-Britton
We live at 508 W North Street in Zearing, a house we purchased in October 1992. It is right beside the house where I grew up and was built for my Great Uncle Russell and his wife, Fern in the early 1900's. We work out of our home and formed Blattel-Britton Studios 1987. Benny is multitalented. 'A jack of all trade-master of several' which includes all of the framing & matting of my original drawings and prints.
For the past couple of years Benny has been restoring old tractors, implements & an occasional automobile working for Straight Restorations in Bangor, Iowa. Their reputation is growing as they are getting Tractors from as far away as California to refurbish.
Blattel-Britton Studios-Rock & Sculpture Garden Ó
In 1994 we started building a rock garden on a 145’ x 180’ vacant lot we purchased in 1991 across from our home. We have hauled in several hundred tons of rocks of various sizes and planted a variety of bushes, trees and perennials. In September 1996 we dug a couple ponds. We are still trying to get them in working order in regards to its inhabitants including algae and hibernation through the winter. The first and second ponds have a waterway between them with an arched steel bridge over it. As with most gardens, it is a work in progress.
Different views of our Rock Garden taken July of 2010.
The garden provides a natural display for Benny’s metal sculptures some of which are for sale. Bus tours and garden clubs have visited the rock garden. In a series of articles on gardens by the Des Moines Register in 1996, Eliot Nusbaum featured our rock garden as a ‘year round garden’. It has been featured with numerous television and newspaper articles and was one of 10 gardens on the 12th Annual Central Iowa Tour of Water Gardens on Saturday, July 7, 2007.
In 1994 we started hosting an art show on our dead end street which we call 'Art in our Yard'. In the rock garden Benny's sculptures are on display throughout and my drawings are sheltered under a tent. The street gets covered with sidewalk chalk drawings by attendees, we have had various musicians and entertainers, refreshments are available and people bring various rocks to 'help our garden grow'. We award T shirts to the most unique rocks and have a drawing with prints & T shirts given away. Art in the Yard was held from 1994-1998 and again in 2001 attracting hundreds of people. Hopefully we will be having it again sometime and when we do, we will post all pertinent information here on our website.
Since the Rock Garden is our private property, it is closed to the General Public. Entrance is by request or appointment ONLY by asking one of us-Benny, John, Carl or me. The surrounding neighbors or any other persons do not have permission to grant any requests to walk through the garden or take pictures of it.
Donations are accepted and most indubitably appreciated.
Aerial views of our Rock Garden taken June 29, 2007