≡ Menu

Vollis Simpson – Junkyard Artist of Whirligigs

Vollis Simpson, called the
Junkyard Poet of Whirligigs and Windmills
by the New York Times

Vollis Simpson shop whirligig artist in his shop in Lucama, NC | chloesblog.com

Vollis Simpson is a craftsman of brightly painted metal art –
giant creations he calls windmills and we call whirligigs.

Driving through eastern North Carolina looking for Lucama and Vollis Simpson’s Whirligig Farm, you begin to wonder if you are lost. And then around the corner, there they are – colorful, folksy whirligigs erected atop tall poles, all spinning and creaking and shining in the sun. With reflector tape on the spinning blades, they shine in the moonlight too.

I met Mr. Simpson last summer. He was working in his shop – I was kinda hanging around and he invited me in. His workshop is stuffed … really stuffed with his metal creations, all made from objects he has collected. I saw a slight grin when he told me about the 85- foot whirligig he made for the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore; I think he used a toaster in that one.

Whirligig folk art of Vollis Simpson | chloesblog.com

Just this week we had fun mom and daughter guests Anna and Kate, who drove all the way from Philadelphia to see Vollis Simpson’s art work and to stay at Big Mill B&B.  Kate wants one of his creations and I bet she gets one.

This is American Folk Art, sometimes called Outsider Art. Whatever the name, it is worth a trip to the small eastern North Carolina community of Lucama.  But go now, you might be able to sit and talk to Vollis Simpson, still working at 92.

And buy something. I did and my wonderful helicopter whirligig loves living on the farm at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast.

Whirligig at Big Mill B&B in eastern NC | chloesblog.com

Try to go on a windy day or a windy night with a full moon.

Update: the city of Wilson, NC, has purchased Mr. Simpson’s whirligig collection and they are now in the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park that will open November, 2013. The General Assembly of North Carolina voted in June of 2013 to honor Mr. Simpson and to make the Whirligig the North Carolina’s folk art symbol.

Sadly, Vollis Simpson died on June1, 2013 at the age of 94. I am so glad I met this fascinating man.

‘hope you will stay with us at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast in Williamston, NC, while you visit the Whirligig Park

Chloe Tuttle Big Mill Bed and Breakfast near Greenville NC

Big Mill Bed & Breakfast 252-792-8787

Follow Me

Chloe Tuttle

Eco-friendly innkeeper at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast
I am a farm girl who sailed the world, returned home to the family farm and opened Big Mill Bed and Breakfast. Join us for Business EXTENDED STAY or a quiet getaway 252-792-8787.
Follow Me

Latest posts by Chloe Tuttle (see all)

You Might Also Like

Big Mill Wins Top 10 Eco-Friendly Inns Award! Not one to toot my own horn, I just have to share this good news. Big Mill B&B has been singled out as one of the Top 10 earth-friendly inns by Be...
Hummingbirds at Big Mill : A Bird’s Eye View Just settle into the hammock or in a swing on the farm at Big Mill and wait .... but not for very long. Yes, you'll have to wind down and be still ...
Elopement on the Farm at Big Mill B&B Getting married on the farm, surrounded by nature has a calming effect. What a great way to start your new life together, away from the crowd. I h...
Citrus Decorations – How to Dry Orange Slice... When  holiday seasons approach I have to try to shed the Bah Humbug attitude. The best way for me to do that is to make something pretty or make a gif...
Share13
Pin1
Share
Email
Share
Tweet
14 Shares