Bottle Trees by David Lee

Article Published: Aug. 11, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Bottle Trees by David Lee

ArtWalk's featured artist for the week is a self-taught craftsman who works out of Blowing Rock.

David Lee crafts bottle tree sculptures out of twisted and welded steel rebar with an elegant black finish.

The ribbed quality of the rebar helps the bottles settle and stay in place at the end of each branch. Three prongs radiate at ground level above a post for added stability. The trees come in a variety of heights and styles, and each is a one-of-a-kind piece.

Although the bottle tree makes a distinctive yard ornament, it also has a rich history in the South. The concept began as an old West African practice that was brought to America during the slave trade and became fused with Southern culture.

The lure behind the bottle tree is that it helps deter bad spirits from entering the home. Instead, they are drawn to the colorful glass, get trapped in the inverted vessels and expire when the sun shines through.

David Lee's bottle trees are located throughout ArtWalk. With three and a half floors and more than 300 local, regional and national artists, ArtWalk is located at 611 W. King St. (across from Mast General Store) in downtown Boone. Hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, or to inquire about individual gallery booths for rent, call (828) 264-9998, e-mail ( or visit

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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