Bobby’s Bama: Oden Ridge’s artist who does everything

ODEN RIDGE, AL (WAFF) - Walk through Ruth Baltzer's home and you'll find many surprises... like penguins that look like a sewing project but are actually ceramic.

Her love of art flourished when she was in 7th grade.

"We were poor, but I didn't know that. But I won paints in 7th grade, and I was so proud of them because Daddy couldn't afford to buy them," said Baltzer.

And one prize led to another.

"I had won a prize and I got to go to the Dayton Art Institute for free classes," she said.

Her husband was in the military and they moved around a lot.  All the while she held down jobs, attended art classes and raised three children.

Most of the works scattered across her home are the results of class projects.

A saw above the doorway shows Baltzer's touch.  There are many examples of her talents, including quilts.

One medium, involving beadwork, is very expensive.

Another project she's taken on over the years are purses. So many of them involve bead work and are of such detail.  One has such tiny detail, it can take up to three months to finish.

"And the thing of it is, I made one for Mohammad's wife when we went to Egypt, and there was one in the museum from about 1700, when those were made," Baltzer said.

She's extensively traveled the world, and the sites influenced her tremendously.

Ceramics, painting, pulled thread, needle point, and more. Her talents are obvious.  A barn pulls apart and becomes sugar, flour, tea, and coffee canisters.

The beauty Baltzer exhibits in her art could easily be found within her.  She entered a beauty contest at age 91, and she won in Bobby's Bama.

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