Sioux Falls man makes art out of nature's treasures

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - 'The Nature Artist' in Sioux Falls uses things most people pick up and throw away or use as firewood to make his creations. Scott Mertens has been doing this for 18 months now.

He salvages nature's little treasures, like sticks, pine cones and mushrooms and turns them into art.

"I never knew I had it in me," he said.

He says he finds his supplies all over southeastern South Dakota.

"You don't look the coolest no doubt. You can find some of it along the department stores. After your done shopping, I'm going to get pine cones under the tree," Mertens said.

From 'welcome' signs to picture frames, his business has just taken off, but he continues to alter his craft.

"It started with all the bigger 'welcome' signs, and as it came to be a business opportunity. I started to shrink them down to sit on shelves," he said.

He has his work all over his house and yard. The finished product comes in many shapes and sizes. He makes them all in his garage in Southwestern Sioux Falls.

"It's all screwed on, and then the glue covers the screws," he said.

The only thing not made in South Dakota is the decorative birds he uses to spruce up the pieces. He orders those online.

Mertens has put together more than one hundred works of art, and they are available to view at the gallery in the basement of his home. He can be emailed or called at scottmertens@yahoo.com and 605-269-1366 for a look.

The pieces cost anywhere upwards of $100.

You can learn more at  The Nature Artist Website.