Placida Market features Carol Allen as Artist of the Week

Carol Allen

Placida artist Carol Allen uses recycled materials in her work such as this totem on a bird fountain. You can see her work at the Placida Saturday Arts and Crafts Market on the grounds of the Fishery restaurant.

PLACIDA — Carol Allen is not one who will let things go to waste. Five years ago, she embarked on a career creating art from recyclables after working for years as a hairstylist.

“I try to find a use for everything,” Allen said. “I feel we need to refurbish what we have instead of throwing it away.”

Allen grew up in Serena, Ill., a small farm town 100 miles from Chicago. She moved to Placida three years ago because she said it was quiet, in the county, laid back and reminded her of Serena. Now the mother of three and grandmother of 10 designs purses, yard art and solar lights for the garden.

“When I think about what I’m going to create, I usually have to lay it out,” Allen said. “Purses are easier to make, but it takes me a while to do totems because you have to do them in stages.”

Allen likes to work with fabric due to its pliability.

“(The fabric from) a purse is easier to work with than glass,” she said. “You can’t bend glass. You have to go with the shape of it.”

One of her featured garden art items is her solar lights.

“Solar light is not going to cause any energy problems because it doesn’t use any electricity,” she said.

Solar-powered lights are self sustaining, using photovoltaic solar panel technology generating and retaining power from sunlight. Discharge time is dependent on the amount of sunlight absorbed.

Allen’s work can be seen at the Placida Arts and Craft Market which is near to her home.

“I’ve been at the market for two to three years,” Allen said. “It is a nice location and it’s a great place to go for an art show. I think it’s great for the area and art industry. It’s enjoyable to be around the other artists and people come by.”

She said January through March are the best months.

“I’m always looking for something to do,” Allen said. “I just never know what might pop into my head.”

For more information on Allen’s work, email her at

The Placida Saturday Arts and Crafts Market will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 9, and almost every other Saturday through April on the grounds of the Fishery Restaurant, 13000 Fishery Road, Placida. Parking and admission are free, and artists can display their work there for free. For market information, call 941-697-2451 or go to Placida-Saturday-Arts-Crafts-Market on Facebook.

Solar Lamps

Placida artist Carol Allen creates solar lamps as part of her recycled garden art.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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3 Responses to Placida Market features Carol Allen as Artist of the Week

  1. Very interesting, I understand her feeling not to waste.

  2. carol allen says:

    sorry i didn’t respond before now .i did know the article was posted .thanks for the interest carol allen

  3. Grace Straub says:

    Carol I always knew you could make anything out of what I thought was nothing…you have such vision!!! I love the water features and solar lights…and you know I’ve always loved the purses!!! I have at least 4of the very first ones you ever made!!! I treasure them and remember the fun we had getting al the stuff together to make them!!!!

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