We will need
May sound silly, but this ain't the southwest, & we're 6 hours from the nearest lake shore. We do gather unwanted rocks from farmers, but still are in short supply. Almost any kind of rock will do, but the prettier or more unusual the better. Also, a good amount of one kind helps (ex., all flat, all round, all bumpy) Our favorite rock-building story is that of Audrey Beale, an Iowan farm woman who was tired of her old house so she took it down one day while her husband was out in the fields. She moved the family into the chicken coop, where they lived temporarily while she built them a new house out of the humungous rock collection she had been adding to since she was a child!
Building with bottles set in cement serves several functions: Recycling of cultural refuse. Insulation (especially if the bottles are capped to provide an air lock or filled with liquid). Beauty: color, reflection and light (bottles can be set in such a way that light shows all the way through to the inside of a structure). We don't care about dirt or labels: Time & Wisconsin weather will wear these away.
Especially non-clear ones (because they're less common than the clear).
Brown are all too common these days, we're looking for clear or green. Also, those new tiny ones.
Especially non-clear colored ones & odd-shaped ones (ex.'s: Jack Daniel bottles are square)
BLUE GLASS BOTTLES
In fact.... BLUE GLASS ANYTHING!
Cobalt blue especially rings our bell; it glows like electricity itself. It's old-fashioned & futuristic. It's calming & invigorating. It's sexy.
A readily accessible source of blue glass bottles is Arizona Tea's Ginseng Iced Tea. We'll pay 5¢ a bottle for those, even drive long distances for a few hundred or more of them.
Arizona Tea Links: Wisconsin is a major ginseng-growing state; We've always thought of Arizona as a parallax Southwest (we're in Southwest Wisconsin): Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin (school of architecture) here in Southwest Wisconsin (Spring Green) has a a winter campus in Scottsdale. We've always thought if there was a Dreamtime Southwest it might be in Arizona. We're in love with the Bisbee Arizona area. Entering Bisbee down a mountain pass feels like time travel. Arizona has the name ZON in it!
The Cobalt/ B-12 Link: Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the dangers of vegetarianism. Cobalt is one if three naturally magnetic elements. (Iron, the core of hemoglobin, & nickle, which is biotoxic, are the others.) Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin sythesized solely by microorganisms; it also is the only vitamin containing a trace element - cobalt. We need it in our diet!
More colorful nougats of a future past.Broken (glazed) commercial or handmade pottery, coffeemugs, dinner plates, etc.
If they're colored or have interesting designs. We'll take unbroken ceramics too...
BROKEN MIRRORS & MIRRORED FRAGMENTS
Visitors to the Grotto see themselves in a fractured light. Remnants of our surface-beauty-obsessed culture reflect sunlight back out & away from the structures.
JEWELS, CRYSTALS, MARBLES & OTHER GEMS & TRINKETS
Even if they're imperfect. High & low juxtaposed, as in a marraige of diamonds & cement. Sticking out of or set into the concrete bodies of Wisconsin grottoes we've seen expensive "carnival glass," crystal ashtrays, glass doorknobs, seashells, marbles, glass cigar tubes, densely packed colorful chards, even the cloudy glass innards of Avon bottle stoppers. You name it, you can imbed it, EXCEPT, plastic, paper and plant-matter won't hold the test of time.
BAGS OF MORTAR
Got any extra? (If we lived in a different climate, we'd use clay.)
TROWELS, SHOVELS, WHEELBARROWS, RUBBER GLOVES, CHICKEN WIRE, HARDWARE CLOTH
"These are a few of our favorite things...."