Magazine recognizes Hilton Head Island resident for her creation of dolls from hodgepodge of objects

abredeson@islandpacket.comApril 28, 2013 

  • SIMPLE LIFE

    Part-time Hilton Head Island resident Joanne Baumgart-Schellgell creates bricolage art that she sells at her shop, Simple Life Antiques and Uniques in Land O' Lakes, Wis. Details: simplelf@nnex.net or www.simplelifeantiques.com

One woman's trash is another's treasure. For Joanne Baumgart-Schellgell, the treasure can be a tin can, a lamp shade or a pair of tongs.

The part-time Hilton Head Island resident is a bricolage artist, meaning she combines various objects to create works of art. She uses antique porcelain doll heads, kitchen utensils and a variety of other materials to create one-of-a-kind dolls.

She has been featured in a variety of magazines for her artwork, including "Creative Home" and, most recently, "Art Doll Quarterly"

"I love dolls, and I collect antique dolls," she said. "I had every doll imaginable growing up, and played with Barbies and paper dolls. This has always been a fascination with me."

Baumgart-Schellgell's creations range from about five inches to 36 inches tall. Some are mounted on pedestals. Some are put inside shadow boxes, and others hang on the wall. She sells the pieces for anywhere between $125 and $1,000, depending on her cost for materials and the amount of time she spent creating them.

"Being an artist, I wanted to do something different," she said. "I have a very vivid imagination."

Baumgart-Schellgell has been intrigued by art for as long as she can remember. As a young girl, she tried just about every medium of art -- from candlemaking to ceramics to macrame to painting in oils, watercolor and acrylics.

In addition to the dollmaking, Baumgart-Schellgell makes jewelry out of objects she finds at thrift stores and junk yards. She also enjoys painting furniture and decoupage.

When Baumgart-Schellgell and her husband, George, are not on Hilton Head, they are in Land O' Lakes, Wis. She owns a shop there called Simple Life Antiques and Uniques, where she sells her work, among other things.

She said she has a hard time parting with her artwork because every piece is special to her.

"I could do this all day," she said. "It's really fun. I love it."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at https://www.twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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