Mabton man turns trash into treasure

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One of Gary Anderson's most popular pieces is an end table that also serves as a wine bottle holder.
   

MABTON - A piece of scrap metal is anything but a scrap to Mabton hop farmer Gary Anderson.

Whether it be slices of metal from old equipment or discarded stainless steel, Anderson has acquired a knack for giving metal a second lease on life.

Anderson and wife Rebecca operate the Hopfengarten art gallery in Sunnyside, where his work has appeared in the past. He has also displayed his metallic art figures as far away as Portland, Ore.

Wherever Anderson displays his work, he said his aim is to sell it for an affordable price. That helps ensure his creations are enjoyed by others.

It also lessens one of the few difficulties of his form of art work. "Sometimes it can be a challenge to find room to store all my work," he laughed while displaying some of his art pieces during a recent event in downtown Prosser.

Anderson has worked a hop farm for the last 30 years, and said his venture into recycled metal, as well as wood, stemmed from his interest in working with scrap materials or equipment either discarded or worn out.

As a farmer and an art gallery owner, Anderson said it can be difficult to find the time to assemble his artwork. "I work all day and weld all night," he smiled.

Anderson said one of his most popular pieces, and a personal favorite, are little metal end tables that double as a wine bottle holder.

"They're made from scrap pieces of stainless steel used for wine production," Anderson said of the metal source for his wine tables. "So I guess it kind of comes full circle."

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