Paul Schantz may be described as a builder who just couldn't stop when he retired. In his own words, “I just decided to build small homes.” Well, not exactly. Small homes, for sure. But, not just any small homes.
|No two Paul Schantz birdhouse are alike . . .|
but many will intrigue you
As someone who, since 1975 spent a career involved in designing, constructing, and remodeling homes he saw first hand the waste created by building demolition and construction by-products. Combine that with a lifetime interest in conservation and preservation, seeing scraps from various projects headed to the landfill bothered him.
All of a sudden a long-enjoyed interest in wildlife, birds, in particular, blossomed into a retirement avocation building birdhouses. Paul chuckles when he notes that “birdhouses do not have zoning requirements to adhere to, or need building permits or certificates of occupancy.”
All of Paul's birdhouses are original designs and constructed of repurposed materials. No two are the same. If you think that sounds simple enough you may want to visit Gallery 54 where he will be the Guest Artist for May and June. When Paul says no two birdhouses are the same, that really is an understatement. Indeed, at the recent Carol Watson Nursery fundraising show in LaFayette, NY he had more than 150 unique creations.
|This birdhouse started out as a 100th|
Anniversary tin of Log Cabin Maple Syrup
There doesn't appear to be any such thing as a typical Paul Schantz birdhouse. Construction materials may be as far ranging as old barn wood, maple tree syrup taps, sap bucket lids, door knobs, old tractor funnels, lunch boxes, and antique lanterns . . . to mention a few. The birdhouses are as likely to be found mounted on a rustic fence post or resting on a fine oak table or fireplace mantle as hanging from a tree.
While they are respected as artful renditions of their distant cousins, the common “cookie cutter” birdhouses, Paul certainly does not suggest that they need to be treated with kid gloves. “My birdhouses,” he says, “are indeed small homes for birds. They are designed and constructed to be used.” With that in mind backing off a couple screws is typically all that's needed to be able to clean out the latest inhabitant's nest before readying for a new season. After seasonal cleaning Paul recommends storing these artfully created birdhouses indoors during the winter months if only to assure their function for many years.
With more than 600 birdhouses created so far, it's hard for most people to understand where he gets
his ideas . . . ideas that have already incorporated such unique and diverse building materials as an old SU souvenir basketball, a maple syrup can, slate from an old roof, house siding shingles, oil cans, and the list goes on. There is one thing you won't find on a Paul Schantz birdhouse though . . . a wooden dowel as a perch. That would be too common.
|A small sample of the many birdhouse designs Paul has.|
Stop by Gallery 54 and scoop up your birdhouse while Paul is our Guest Artist in May & June.
The opening for his showing will be the First Friday of May, May 4 from 5 - 8 pm. In addition to light refreshments, guests will enjoy a wine tasting by Anyela's Winery and the guitar music of Jane Zell.
Check out our online store at Gallery 54 online store
fine art and craft of other Gallery 54 artists.