Saturday, November 26, 2011

Inside Solomon's Castle

We headed out early this morning for our planned ride to Solomon's Castle with our new motorcycle friends, Patty and Fran.  Even at 9 a.m. on another beautiful SW Florida day, we could ride without coats.  When we stopped to pick up some other friends of Patty and Fran, Ron and I also ditched our helmets.  We are so accustomed to riding with helmets in Georgia and Washington, that we rarely ride without them.  However, it could be addictive!  There is nothing like the feeling of wind in your hair even when it leaves it in a hopeless tangle.
Jerry and Monique had just taken delivery of their new bike, and it is a beauty!  They are from Quebec, the bike is made in Quebec, but it is much less expensive to buy it in Florida.
Our caravan included four bikes and one car.  Nine adults and two children all headed out for the castle.
Fran is an excellent guide as he knows every road and how they interconnect, so we were able to take mostly rural back roads and still go in a pretty straight line to Ona, where the castle is located.
Howard Solomon, the owner and artist responsible for all the amazing art both inside the castle and out, mingles with the guests.
Waiting for our tour to start.
 Every piece of art is made of some recycled material.  Many are put together from tiny pieces of discarded wood, like the large piece in the middle, and the one to the left on this wall.
 These animals are all made from old wire coat hangers.
 The chair in the corner is made entirely from beer cans.
 Lots of famous paintings have been reproduced using metal, wood, and assorted other materials.
 The painting in the middle is a Norman Rockwell cover for The Saturday Evening Post.  If you enlarge the picture, you will see the original cover to the right of the art piece.

 This dragon is made from oil barrels.

 Notice the toenails of the elephant - clam shells.  Tusks are manatee ribs.

 The artist and his wife's living quarters.  They have two rooms that they rent out - we didn't see those.
 Back door.

This is the only "Plane Wall" in the house.  The tour is really interesting and worthwhile, but every single piece of art comes with a punny name, which is almost painful at times.