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Junk art extraordinaire

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
Accent Editor

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
This statement is true for Aaron “Pottsy” Potts of Waynesburg Rd., Carrollton.  Pottsy recycles scrap metal and parts and turns them into works of art.  He has designed and created five limited edition Christmas poinsettias, two of which will be raffled off to benefit local charities.

He donated poinsettia number one to Carroll County Hospice and number two to the Carroll County Arts Center.  The winner will be drawn Dec. 18 at the Hospice Christmas Store, located on N. Lisbon St., Carrollton.  The store will hold several activities during that day, including a visit from “Earl the Christmas Donkey.”   Tickets are $1 each or 6/$5 and are available at the Hospice Christmas Store and Browse ‘N Buy, located on 2nd St., Carrollton.

Pottsy grew up in the Carrollton area and graduated from Carrollton High School and the Machine Trades program at Buckeye Joint Vocational School in 1990.  He worked as a machinist for a few years, eventually landing a position at The Genie Company.  During his 14 years with Genie, he worked in the mechanical lab testing parts, becoming corporate manager of the department for the United States. 

His job required traveling to Dallas, TX, where he was helping set up a testing lab.  Corporate wanted him to relocate to Dallas but allowed him to spend a week in Texas and a week in Ohio.  However, soon it became two weeks in Texas, one week in Ohio. 

He flew home from Dallas Feb. 2, 2005, and told his wife, Janice, and newborn daughter, “I have good news and bad news.  The good news is I am starting my own business.”  The bad news was that he decided to quit his job at The Genie Company.

“Built by Pottsy LLC” began that day.  Through his love of all things “Jeep,” he began making off road parts and customizing Jeeps.    A couple of years ago Pottsy’s mom, Gwen, saw some items made from junk parts and thought it was a really cool idea.  She encouraged Pottsy to make flowers.  At first he was resistant stating, “I make Jeep parts not flowers.”  Her persistence won out and he gathered a few parts, made a few items.  He took these to Hartville on a rainy day with not many people and sold over $400 worth of items.

Today, he sells not only flowers but also four-foot high corn stalk-feeders.  He is a regular customer at Countryside Recycling in Carrollton and utilizes local businesses for paint and other items.  The sheet metal used for his corn stalks is made from certified recycled steel made in America.  “One of my goals is to support businesses in the area to help the local economy,” he explained.

While he doesn’t consider himself an artist, many people do.  Gwen has always done crafts and noted Aaron was always doing creative things as a child.  He works in the same shop building as his grandfather. 

During the summer Gwen asked Aaron about the possibility of creating poinsettias for a Christmas raffle.  He started with the center, then added a leaf, petal, stem until he had a finished project.  “Painting each flower is more work than designing them and building them,” Pottsy said.  “Painting is very meticulous because of how colors are blended.  Plus I can only paint when the weather is nice.”  Each flower is coated with a green primer coat and a white coat on top.  The other colors are then blended into the white.  “Each step is a little less work,” he said.  “I really like to spray the black touches on each one because that is the very last coat.”  The large flowers begin at around $100 and, at the suggestion of Gwen, he created a line of smaller flowers beginning at $20.  He also does custom work, such as bird feeders and other items from your design or his design.

With the arrival of cold weather, Pottsy switches to engineer mode.  He just finished designing a machine for The Timken Company that will be used to dip bearings used in large wind turbines.  Each bearing is five-feet around and weighs three tons.   He will be traveling to Indiana to oversee the installation and initial start-up of the machine.  The funny thing about designing equipment for The Timken Company is how it came about - with a flower.  The wife of a Timken employee purchased a flower and asked for one of his business cards, which she in turn gave to her husband.  Pottsy has also designed equipment for Seven Ranges, located on SR 332. 

When asked if he has any neat gadgets in his home he has designed, he pointed out his prize possession - an air operated can crusher.  “I am into reduce, reuse, recycle and have a can for metal and aluminum.  After a get-together, I would have half crushed or uncrushed cans and would have to dig them out and crush them,” he explained.  “One night I built the can crusher and I haven’t had to crush a can since.”  He laughed, most people will crush their own or sit them by the crusher and someone will come along and crush them all.

His daughter, Elizabeth, 6, has the creative gene also.  She found some flower petals she liked and her dad welded them together.  He put her in a protective mask and clothing and handed her the spray paint.  “It is the ugliest-beautiful flower!” he joked.  Elizabeth also is recipient of Dad’s love of all things “Jeep.”  He restored a 1959 jeep and, while it was apart, measured the undercarriage and built one to half-scale for her.  He purchased a body to sit on the frame and installed a three-horsepower engine under the hood. 

Pottsy has big plans for the junk art genre.  He is designing and will unveil a six-foot dragon-T-rex type creation at the “Arts for Everyone” event Dec. 16 .   The creation will be available for purchase and is expected to weigh between 200-300 pounds.  Arts for Everyone is held the third Thursday of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Carroll County Arts Center, 204 W. Main St., Carrollton.  As the featured artist, Pottsy will be on hand for a meet-and-greet after the unveiling.  The Christmas Boutique will be open and fine refreshments will be available.

Pottsy explained in the arts section of downtown Canton, they have animal statues on display.  As a hometown boy, he feels he is the perfect person to create a design to display on Public Square.  With his talent, the possibilities are endless.

Built by Pottsy LLC can be reached at 330-415-4132, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To view his creations visit




Metal artist's work is smokin' at the Carroll arts center

Published: December 21, 2010 11:02PM

A fire-breathing dragon stands majestically in front of the Carroll County Arts Center, welcoming visitors to the gallery.

The dragon was designed and constructed by Built By Pottsy, the featured artist of the month. The life-size creation was unveiled Wednesday, Dec. 15, as a crowd gathered to view Aaron Potts' other sculptures at the center's Arts For Everyone.

Potts of Carrollton uses recycled parts and steel, turning the scraps into creative and useful art forms. Known as "Pottsy," he creates each of his "junk art" to be used outdoors.

As Pottsy's friends and family gathered outside in the cold for the unveiling, Pottsy acknowledged his daughter, Elizabeth, had a hand in the creation of the dragon. Asking his daughter whether the dragon was a boy or girl, she pointed out it was a girl because it has eyelashes. The eyelashes, as well as the flames, were her ideas.

He promised to replace the dragon with another creation in the spring.

Pottsy also builds cornstalks and corn flowers to allow animal lovers to feed birds, squirrels and the occasional deer.

Pottsy has several of his animals on display inside the arts center, as well as several of his oversized flowers at the entrance.

One of his flowers, a 3-foot-tall Christmas poinsettia, is being auctioned off to benefit the center's KidzArt program. The poinsettia is only one of five limited-edition poinsettias available.

Bidding is open until noon Thursday, Dec. 23, at the arts center. The winner will be notified by phone.

To see the poinsettia, dragon and many of Pottsy's other innovative artworks, stop by the arts center at 204 W. Main St., Carrollton. To learn more about Built By Pottsy, see

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