|Ricki Pierce, aka The Rock Pirate, a mason and a Mason, grins at the entrance to the home, garden and little Utopia on Wambold Street that he and his wife, artist Damaris Pierce, have created in West Asheville, NC. They call it Wamboldtopia. There are many, many doorways in this garden, and doors are symbols of hope, opportunity and transformation. As you leave, the main one assures you, “You are loved.”|
|Ricki and Damaris are slowly reinventing their hillside landscape: Her artwork; his stonework; their garden. The couple collaborates in the planning, design and creation of the installations.|
|Somehow, this fairy staircase incorporated into the front wall of the house doesn’t seem twee. Wamboldtopia effortlessly balances whimsy and hard edge, complete with skeletons and a sense of fun. It’s Fairyland meets Day of the Dead.|
|To whit: Wamboldtopia residents Switch and Chit remove an unwelcome guest.
(I even forgive the use of red cedar mulch; here, it’s like a river of blood. Perhaps gnome blood?)
|Even the pond, which was the couple’s first garden project together, looks like a portal into an upside-down world.|
|Damaris Pierce before one of their creations. This was once a generic chain-link fence (can you make out the pattern in the photo on the right?). Now, it’s a miniature walled city, anchored by a bell tower. Every tower has its own door.|