Bill Hess' Nelson County workshop sparkles in the sunlight, filled with his handiwork. "I think of all kind of things to make," says Hess.
The works of art sold through his business, Ideas on Legs, all come from what others have discarded; as the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Hess takes that saying literally, turning recycled glass into something much more.
"I was always interested in taking materials that are found readily and transforming them into something beautiful," says Hess.
He's been working with glass for years now, combining a background in engineering with creativity create functioning pieces of art, from tiles, to dishes, even bathroom sinks and lamps.
Hess But he says concern for the environment is at the heart of his work. He says he gets most of his materials from the recycling center in Charlottesville, and seeing bottles - his raw materials - littered on the side of the road or in the trash seems like a waste.
"When I see that, things all over the place, it says to me that our society is really disconnected and that it's making progress, big leaps and strides, but there's still a long way to go in the bigger picture," stated Hess.
Hess says as more and more consumers come to share his concern for the environment, the demand for his green products has grown.
"I think people are becoming much more sensitive to it - I think in the last couple years people are really taking it more seriously."
Hess started out selling the products right from his workshop, but the business has expanded. He now sells pieces out of eco-friendly stores around Central Virginia as well as through a website.