Trey Farmer

Grandma Made Village Out of Tens of Thousands of Bottles

by , 08/03/09

inside-round-house

Grandmas make some pretty awesome things – pies, sweaters, and techinically, you. But can you say that your grandma ever made a village??? Ours certainly didn’t. Between 1956 and 1981 Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey built Bottle Village using tens of thousands of bottles in mortar. The village is “an otherworld of shrines, wishing wells, walkways, random constructions, plus 15 life size structures all made from found objects.” The 1/3 acre lot in Simi Valley, CA is literally littered with the various structures that Ms. Prisbrey created as a hobby, constructive creative outlet and playful reminder of the joy of upcycling.  Unfortunately, a 1994 earthquake has left the village damaged and in need of repair, but recent media attention has helped bring in new visitors and a renewed interest in preserving this wonderful and unique place.

Since Grandma Prisbrey’s passing in 1988 at the age of 92, the property has been maintained by a small group of dedicated individuals and generous grants.  If you are in the LA area, swing by for a visit and experience the magic that these pictures can only begin to convey. You’ll be supporting the memory of Grandma Prisbrey and the spirit of making crappy stuff awesome that has definitely seen a revival in recent times. Bottle Village needs you!  Please visit their website to learn more about this inspirational and wondrous place and how you can help.

+ Bottle Village

+ Grandma Prisbrey Bottle Village Video

Photos by Kathy LaForce©, used with permission

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3 Comments

  1. JazzyMe July 15, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Grew up in Simi Vally. Sis still lives there. We went to see it mant times. It’s beautiful!

  2. laforce2 October 19, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Dear Trey,

    THANK YOU!

    Kathy La Force

  3. davidwayneosedach August 6, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    What a fabulous idea and interesting design! We could use Grandma’s villages all over the United States.

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