Junkyard Farmgirl: Trash to Treasure
The Junkyard Farmgirl class schedule is posted on the Facebook page under “Events” and online at www.junkyardfarmgirl.com.
“You don’t have to go out and buy something that somebody else made.” – Angie Gastel McGuire, Junkyard Farmgirl
One man’s trash is Angie Gastel McGuire’s treasure.
The Lamar-based artist and crafting extraordinaire who operates under the name Junkyard Farmgirl has a gift for seeing the hidden potential in items others would toss out. An old oil can, a broken chair, rusty machine parts – McGuire can turn all of it into something beautiful for the home or garden.
“I’ve always had a passion for recycling,” she said. “When I moved back to Lamar from Memphis to take over my family farm, my long-term goal was to start some kind of recycling initiative. Doing what I do now is a way to combine my two passions – recycling and creativity – and reuse materials that may have otherwise ended up in a landfill.”
McGuire dabbles in a little of everything, but some of her most popular pieces include garden flowers made from sprockets, propane tank jack-o-lanterns and rustic signage.
This July, she opened a storefront on the Lamar square, 118 W. 10th St., which serves as a retail space, workshop and classroom. Classes she offers include, but are not limited to, Sign Making, Beginner Sewing, Mirror Windows, License Plate Flowers, Jewelry Making, and Kid’s Crafting. She recently started “Rock The Apron,” an effort to bring aprons back into common use and inspire people to make their own.
“I can’t tell you how many women I’ve taught how to run a drill or a sander or a nail gun for the first time,” she said. “I feel like it empowers people to make something on their own. You don’t have to go out and buy something that somebody else made.”
Influenced by her mother, a master cross-stitcher and quilter, McGuire has always been crafty, but Junkyard Farmgirl’s roots trace back to 2011 when she was tinkering around in the machine shed on the farm the two women own together.
“I was messing around with the Lincoln stick welder in the shed, trying to remember how to weld, which I learned in ag class in high school,” she said. “I started welding together garden art: flowers made from sprockets, machine parts, bent T-posts, chopper knives and anything else I could get my hands on. Then I started making animals: roosters, cows, tropical birds.”
She began taking her art to local shows and eventually tried a large vendor show, which was successful. She’s also been an active participant of Two Friends & JUNK since the beginning.
Her work’s popularity grew, she began teaching classes, and her business blossomed. In December 2017, she and her mom sold the last of their row-cropping equipment, and she went full-time with Junkyard Farmgirl. McGuire chased her dream and found her true calling, but she’s not about to slow down – this farm girl always has new ideas up her sleeve.
“I’ve thought about starting a DIY channel for YouTube,” she said. “But who knows what the future has in store!”
No matter her next move, McGuire has a guiding principle that carries her through any decision in life: “Don’t try to be like anybody else. Be you. Do you. Be inspired by others, but put your own twist on things.”