Marion County resident creates all sorts of unique yard art

Roy Houdyshell poses next to some of his creations. He has been welding and making yard art of several years now. Laura Fowler Paulus/Free Press
Roy Houdyshell poses next to some of his creations. He has been welding and making yard art of several years now. Laura Fowler Paulus/Free Press
Even though Roy Houdyshell retired a few years ago, he keeps himself busy “working” on projects on his property in Lincolnville. Houdyshell makes yard art out of random pieces of metal that he finds at auctions, around his property or anywhere else he can find it. He welds them into various shapes and creatures. His wife Judy paints some of it bright, fun colors and some of it they leave natural.

“When I retired, I thought I needed something to do so I started making the flowers. Then a light bulb came on and I started looking at junk and thinking ‘this looks like such and such’. Then I started making it. Once in a while, you look at something and it pops into your head what it is.”

Roy has sold some of his pieces already and plans to sell more.

“He’s given a lot away, too. Well, I give a lot of his pieces away,” Judy said with a laugh.

Roy and Judy have thought about taking the creations to Hillsboro’s Arts and Crafts or Marion’s Art in the Park, but they worry about the extensive work involved in hauling it all there. They have decided to do a trial run on their property the same weekend to see how well they sell items. This way people can buy things on their way to the other two events or people can just go to the Houdyshell’s if they would rather skip the crowds in the other two towns.

Roy works on his creations in spurts since he has some other projects he does on the side. He said he has quite a supply built up already.

“He has a creative side. I will look at him and see his eyes light up and see him thinking up something,” said Judy.

While Roy learned a little bit of welding when he was younger, he did not do it professionally. But he always enjoyed it.

“I always kind of had an inkling to have my own welding shop and here I am now finally doing it about 70 years later,” said Roy.

Roy clearly enjoys what he does in the welding shop and you can see it in his work. While there are similarities in some of the pieces, all are unique. And while Roy himself is more on the quiet side, his creations are not. They scream of personality and character and make you want to smile.

Roy does have a favorite piece.

“I kinda like the goony birds, at least that is what I am calling them,” said Roy.

Roy’s goony bird has a cast iron skillet for a stomach and many of them have chalkboard paint so that they can be written on.

The Houdyshells live at 2515 Highway 77 in Lincolnville. They will have Roy’s pieces out and available this weekend for sale or you can arrange a time with them to see the pieces. Roy is also willing to create specific pieces. You can contact Roy on Facebook.