The ball bearing tree grows new roots... as art!

The ball bearing tree grows new roots... as art!

It was early on.

We didn't even know we were in business, yet. Really.

And, we certainly weren't in the habit of just giving our stuff away. (OK... so that may be small untruth. We are actually very generous and give stuff away all the time!)

Our friend Lisa shows up. Lisa used to live north of Uxbridge (Ontario) and she and I became very good friends about 15 years ago. I love Lisa because she loves me... and we just plain get along, all the time.

Lisa also loves art. She especially loves art that is unique, unusual, eclectic and made by people who can tell good stories.

One of the first pieces that Michael made was supposed to be a coat-tree for our front hall.

He collected these amazing steel ball bearings that were in the trash pile at work, and welded them onto the ends of pliable metal rods. Then, he gathered them into a bundle and attached them to a base.

Great idea for a coat-tree, don't you think?

Problem was, the rods weren't strong enough to hold up a sweater, much less a heavy Canadian winter coat. (Live and learn. Like I said, this was early on!)

So, we looked at it from all angles, discussed it, fretted a bit, and then decided that it wasn't a coat-tree after all... IT WAS ART!!

It certainly was!

Enter Lisa.

To Lisa, there was no question... it definitely was art. And she wanted it.

But, remember, this was early on... and we weren't so used to giving our stuff away. So we told her we would make one for her.

Well, the way it goes with real art is that no two pieces are ever the same. The next ball bearing tree was more like a ball bearing bush. Nice, but really not the same.

So, we bundled the first one up and took it to Lisa in St. Catharines.

She insisted on paying us... and we realized we really were 'getting into the business'.

(Oh, and she wants you to know that it's one of the most talked about pieces in her house... quite a compliment!)

- Hugs, Les

Follow Us


The Wilkins Design Blog

2021 Uxbridge Studio Tour Weekend Is Almost Here!

Well, we may be masked and sanitized but we're back to hosting a live 'open doors' studio tour this year! For 2021 our home/studio will also be hosting 3 amazing guest artists - Jewelry Designer Jeannine Rosenberg, Aboriginal Fine Artist Donald Chrétien, and Ceramic Artist Ann Cummings. We hope you'll be joining us Sept 18 -19!!


Mike Wilkins, studio site 11 of the Uxbridge Studio Tour will be welcoming guests Sept 18 & 19 2012

We hope to see you this September!

Drop by to browse our one-of-a-kind functional and sculptural pieces. See some of our latest pieces here.

Latest Work


Happy Customers Speak Up!

  • A huge congrats on an awesome first show. The pieces on display were beautiful examples of form partnering with function. Genuine artistry.
    - Sorrelle T.