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Sprinkler Man

Local 5 Live Green Bay

 


DOVETAIL GALLERY ARTICLES
Uniquely Wisconsin:
Sprinkler Man


Excerpt from WFRV, Local 5 Live
March 5, 2015

 

Egg Harbor (WFRV) You don't usually think of a sprinkler you use to water your garden or lawn with as a sculpture- but Tom Mand's sprinklers are exactly that.

Tom Mand doesn't make your everyday water sprinklers. Tom's sprinklers are handcrafted art for your lawn and garden.

"I make the copper rotating sprinklers," explained Tom Mand, sprinkler maker.

But Tom doesn't consider himself artistic.

"I would not be an artist. I told my son I'm an artist for fun its a big joke," said Tom.

Tom's wife Kathleen sold the copper sprinklers in her Dovetail Gallery in Egg Harbor but couldn't keep them on the shelves. So 7 years ago when Tom retired from his engineering job, "Instead of doing nothing my wife thought it would be to our advantage if I made sprinklers," explained Tom.

Kathleen designed and patented 9 different copper sprinkler sculptures. Tom is the muscle-- welding them together.

"I think they're nice I think they're a beautiful design," said Tom.

It takes a lot of time.

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"I'm guessing it'll take me ten hours to do two sprinklers," said Tom.

But Tom does like the work, "I can't wait to get into it in the spring, soddering, welding, bending," said Tom.

Over the years Tom has made more than a thousand lawn decorations. But he will soon be putting down his torch. Tom has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

"I was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy. It's a neurological disorder and it affects my balance at this point in time, eventually all my muscles will fail," explained Tom.

So before that happens Tom is going to spend as much time with his wife Kathleen as he can.

"We're going to travel take day trips and I'm going to enjoy life," said Tom.

We introduced you to Kathleen a couple of weeks ago-- she was the egg artist who owned Dovetail Gallery-- which is why she is closing-- so her and Tom can spend more time together.

Although Tom won't be making the sprinklers anymore-- he still has a lot in inventory.

The sprinklers' range in price between $119 to $189.

You can still find them on their website at dovetailgallery.com

Dovetail Gallery & Studio in Egg Harbor will open under a new owner, Cappaert Conteporary Gallery, and she plans to sell dovetail sprinklers.

Watch the full video above.