Recycled miracles a passion for Valmeyer man - Republic-Times | News

Recycled miracles a passion for Valmeyer man

By on September 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

With wife, Barb, Clyde Lattina shows off some of the decorative garden gazing globes he has made. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

“Some people carry around pictures of their grandkids. I carry pictures of globes,” laughed Clyde Lattina of Valmeyer.

Lattina creates what he calls “recycled miracles,” or garden gazing balls that are decorative garden or yard accessories.

The Republic-Times first introduced you to Lattina about a year ago, when he undertook his hobby of recycling old bowling balls by decorating them with beads and decorative rocks or marbles and then sealing them with polyurethane. At that point, Lattina had only created a handful of garden globes.

Now, Lattina says he has created more than 100.

“I like a challenge,” Lattina said.

And it shows in his work. Lattina has challenged himself to make more complex creations by now applying photographs to commemorate loved ones. He has stretched his creativity into creating sports balls, patriotic balls and even Harley Davidson balls. His favorite ball to this day is a button globe.

“That’s 40 years of buttons right there,” Lattina explained.

He took his wife Barb’s collection of buttons she has saved over the years and covered the bowling ball that now is proudly on display in their back yard.

Lattina started off his recycled miracles business by purely donating his creations. But it has grown so much he has started selling the garden gazing balls in order to pay for supplies and keep up with demand.

“It takes about six hours to a day and-a-half to make one,” Lattina said. “But I like it. It helps me relax.”

The Lattinas spend a few days a month in local thrift stores looking for supplies and getting help from West Park Bowl in Columbia, which donates used bowling balls several times a year.

Together, West Park Bowl and the Lattinas have donated these balls to charities like Relay for Life, Backstoppers and D.A.R.E. They even traded in two sports balls — one to a Cardinals fan and another to a Blues fan — for part of a down payment on their new car.

“They are still sitting up in the window at the Ford dealership in Waterloo,” Barb said.

The Lattinas had a recycled miracles stand last weekend at the Ft. Kaskaskia Traditional Music Festival. You can also contact Lattina for more information on how to purchase a custom made garden gazing ball, or donate an old bowling ball, by calling 935-2944.

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.