Welcome to Wamboldtopia

Croc skull and gear teeth

You are entering a santuary of whimsy and wisdom, where beauty and death play together joyfully. It’s the kind of place where a visual pun—two kinds of teeth—greets you just past the gate.

Wamboldtopia is a garden of earthly delights: sculptures small and large, word-bearing artifacts, complex and artful masonry, bones, bells, and found objects are all embedded in a lush and burgeoning landscape—waiting for you to notice them and experience a frisson of pleasure.

If you get a chance to visit this private space (Ricki Pierce and Damaris Pierce are its creators, curators, and caretakers), I hope you are able to linger. Although not intended specifically for young people, Wamboldtopia offers them a cornucopia of discoveries. May you be fortunate to be there at the same time as a child who can enjoy the exploration as much as you do.

Stone angel and flowers.

If you don’t look closely, some of the landscaping and decoration can seem quite conventional.

Masonry with sculpture embedded.

But it’s not.

Garden decorations.

For every bit of familiar garden decoration, there are a dozen or more unexpected strange and lovely items lurking in the vicinity.

Stone and glass bead decorative circle.

There are mandalas and venuses of willendorf.

Small ceramic venus figure embedded in cement.

A weathered sun may shine…

Metal sun on wooden door.

…but the pirate’s pal is hanging out just around the corner.

A soggy, dew-soaked fairy smiles cock-eyed from a fir tree.

And everywhere there is the surprisingly cheerful reminder that in the midst of life, we are in death—or is it the other way ’round?

Boot with skull plaque and gravestone fragment.

I promise you, you’ll be inspired to make something yourself after a stroll in Wamboldtopia.

Carpe diem, baby, seize the day!


Two Years Ago: The Gilded Age

Vesibule, City Building, Asheville, NCThis structure is almost psychedelic…
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