Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey

by Melissa Eskridge Slaymaker and Julie Paschkis

At the age of 60, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey began building her bottle... read more

At the age of 60, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey began building her bottle village. Over the course of the next ten years, Grandma Prisbrey constructed 22 sculptures and 13 one-room buildings out of bottles scavenged during daily visits to the dump. After stacking bottles to make walls, “all she had to buy was cement to hold them together.” Her bottle projects included a chapel, a birdbath, a wishing well, and a rumpus room. Not limiting herself to glass, she also devised a house of shells and a pyramid of car headlights and lipstick cases. The illustrations’ glowing jewel tones and charming visual details convey Grandma Prisbrey’s appreciation of color and her obvious delight in whimsy. She even used pink, green, and blue vegetable dyes to transform her three kittens. The final two pages feature photographs of the late artist and scenes from her bottle village in California. (Ages 4–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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