South County Beat: ‘Edgar’ represents Arroyo Grande pub’s values

‘Edgar’ with welder and artisan Steve Bewley, left, and SLO Down Pub manager Mark London, right.
‘Edgar’ with welder and artisan Steve Bewley, left, and SLO Down Pub manager Mark London, right.

‘Edgar” sits outside the SLO Down Pub on East Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande, pouring red “wine” from a bottle into a wine glass. He is life-sized and totally made of recycled parts, the metal sculpture brainchild of the pub’s manager, Mark London.

Edgar sits on an old beer keg from Firestone Brewery in Paso Robles. His hands are crafted out of rebar. His fingers are made of old bedsprings. His mustache and beard are made from a grinding bristle on a drill.

Edgar’s long hair is fashioned from old, broken guitar strings donated by Lightning Joe’s Guitar Heaven in the Village. It took London and helpers 40 hours to tie them to the head, kind of a community project.

His nose is an old steel hook. His eyeballs are ball bearings. His shirt is from screen used in a security door and is cut so the heart will show. His heart is made of a helium tank.

Edgar’s legs, arms and support structure are scrap steel rod. Tie wire holds it together. Within the arms and legs is the tube from an aquarium pump. This tube is visible and carries the “wine”/“blood” through the body, and back into the bottle and wine glass, recycling itself.

Steve Bewley, a welder and artisan, who works out of a shop behind the pub, helped construct Edgar. He owns ReRun Productions and takes castoffs, such as metal, ceramics, newspapers and found objects.

Bewley has several creations around the pub, all from recycled materials. Several of his lamps hang, crafted from handmade paper he makes in his shop.

Said London, “We’re running out of resources on this planet. ... The idea is to have as much of the furnishings and materials for the pub made out of recycled or repurposed materials.”

London designed the round pub tables from circles of old plywood covered by distressed copper. Some of the furnishings come from wood siding in old barns and are crafted by Ben Riddering.

Outside, Edgar sits amid a bed of colorful flowers. Next to him are large concrete planters, which London poured into panels, adding dye to make them look like terra cotta. Texture is added to enhance the appeal. The planters hold more flowers.

The planters are designed to protect the walkways and make them safer for patrons. Small lemon, lime and orange trees will bear fruit that will eventually be used in the pub, enhancing sustainability.

London started constructing Edgar two years ago, taking six to eight months to make his head. London wasn’t sure how to continue, but the idea of a full-bodied Edgar pouring wine eventually came to him and took about two years to complete.

Edgar represents the values of the SLO Down Pub. The guitar strings refer to the live music played there daily. The helium tank symbolizes light-heartedness and relaxation at the pub. Pouring wine denotes graciousness with which one treats a friend.

Most of the creations are available for purchase. Contact the pub at 481-4067 or visit www.slodownpub.com.

Gayle Cuddy and Cynthia Lambert write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cuddy at 489-1026 or nightengayles@aol.com.