Many people know the old idiom: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But Dave Bogle has a different twist on the saying.
When the Gainesville man sees scrap material in his shop, he sees art.
Bogle, who calls himself “3D Dave,” makes mainly what he calls shop art — art made by repurposing leftover materials.
“I add dimension to my artwork, it stands out from the canvas, by texture and by just raising part of the canvas at different elevations,” he said. “That’s what gives it depth and that’s why I named myself 3D Dave.”
He displays the artwork on the walls of his home. The one-of-a-kind pieces feature Masonite pieces, lights, old carpet, tinsel and even plastic lids to food containers. And they are painted to make interesting designs.
Nothing is safe from Bogle’s creativity, not even his wife Mary’s pickle slicer. It has been used on several occasions to add texture to various works.
“I didn’t tell her,” Bogle said of one of the times he borrowed the pickle slicer. “I used it and put it back in the drawer. Then she (Mary) complimented me on how well it turned out.”
Texture is something Bogle incorporates into almost all of his art. Sometimes he uses household items, such as the pickle slicer, sometimes he uses items such as drywall mud, to give another effect.
“(Ideas) just kind of come to me,” Bogle said. “It’s all an experiment. I try this or say I wonder what will happen if I do this.”
Masonite is a material Bogle uses frequently. It is a type of hardboard made of steam-cooked and pressure-molded wood fibers. This product is also known as Quartrboard.
Bogle, who is in his 70s, became interested in art several decades ago. In the 1970s, he studied art from Atlanta artist Elsie Dresch, who taught him the basics. His mother was also an accomplished artist who painted throughout her life.
Because of those influences, Bogle does not limit himself to his scrap shop art. His art also includes painted pieces inspired by famous artists such as Claude Monet.
And Bogle gleans inspiration for his art by what’s around him.
“Just paying attention to the world around me, all of a sudden you get an idea for something you’ve seen for something you’d like to try,” he said.
Sometimes his projects take hours while others take weeks.
One of Dave’s favorite pieces is a painting of a skyline. He used Masonite as a 4-foot-by-3.5-foot canvas and painted the sky, adding water and allowing the colors to fuse together. After keeping it flat and allowing it to dry for a few days, he used a palette knife to add the buildings.
But an artist’s work is never done.
“Sometimes you’re not happy with it and you change it,” Bogle said of his art. “You come back and look at it and change it again. Each one’s different. Each one’s an experiment.”
One of Mary Bogle’s favorite pieces is a blue shimmery work hanging in the couple’s living room. Dave used tinsel to add sparkle to the art, saying it was available and cheap. Mary said the piece originally started off as black and white. Dave kept plugging away at perfecting the piece, adding in shades of blue later.
“It’s so interesting, he has such a creative mind,” Mary said.
Dave, who worked as the chief operating officer of a mining quarry, has been making art their entire 27-year marriage. His creativity and construction skills have come in handy.
“He’s always been creative, this is our third house that we’ve lived in that he’s built,” Mary said, noting he has operated his own company, Handyman at your Service.
The house takes into account the couple’s hobbies with a shop for Dave in the basement and a massive garden in the backyard for Mary, an avid gardener. Other features include lots of kitchen space since the couple likes to entertain and big closets.
Dave’s art expands through their home and can be found in almost every hall, room and in the basement — which offers lots of options for decorating, Mary said.
Mary herself would like Dave to teach her some of his artistic ways.
“I want to learn how to do art because when it gets cold, what can I do? I can’t do anything in the garden, but I want to learn from him,” she said.
Dave’s art has been featured in several art shows around the region, including one in Dawsonville a few years ago and one in Florida. He also sells his work on occasion.
For now Dave is focusing on planning another house. He said he’s got a few project ideas in his head for when he’s done planning the home.