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.
Photos by Kathy LaForce©, used with permission