The simplicity of a sunset. A breeze across your face on a hot summer day. Sitting on your front porch as the sun comes up over the trees on a crisp autumn morning. These are a few moments that come to mind when describing a local farmer and craftsman who sees life through humble eyes. Where most get caught up in the everyday bustle of full plates, 32-year-old Rusty Martin tries to keep it real, focusing instead on his Lord, his children, and his desire to create a place a little less hectic.
Rusty is a charismatic soul. He has a compelling charm that inspires others at such an early age. Of course he hasn’t always had the clarity he has now, life having changed him a bit as it does us all. But it doesn’t take long after speaking with him to realize he has something, or rather has discovered something not everyone has, and that is an attitude so down to earth it puts a smile on your face within minutes of meeting him.
A father of two beautiful children, Rusty says there is nothing like being a dad. For him it is everything, and everything he does from this point forward is because of them. Darby is a blond beauty melting your heart at age four and Mac is a rambunctious mirror of his father running around on the family farm. These two small ones are what makes Rusty who he is now. Before his children, Rusty says he went through the motions of growing up. He went to college, worked at a few places, and finally came back to his family farm to raise his children. Living in his grandmother’s old home near the Schochoh community, Rusty takes pride in family and what it means to remember the past.
“I love my family,” said Rusty. “Being able to live in my grandmother’s old home and on the farm that goes back seven generations, it’s a feeling of belonging you can’t get anywhere else.” Rusty is one of four boys born to Ricky and Becky Martin. Rusty’s dad is a farmer and following in his father’s footsteps was a given ever since he was old enough to pick up a tobacco leaf.
“Farming is inside me,” said Rusty. “It’s all I ever wanted to do. It has come natural to me. But I admit, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my family and God.”
From row crops and honeybees to livestock and sunflowers, Rusty loves the farm and what it can provide for a family. The lessons it can give are invaluable and Rusty intends to teach them to his children as well. But being a farmer isn’t the only thing that makes up Rusty Martin. Seems his mind and soul run much deeper than the plow that carves the field. He is an artist as well. A creator of ideas that he says “just pop in his head while laying down at night.”
“I’ve always loved to draw. Heck, I used to doodle all the time when I was in school,” chucked Rusty. “But I really never explored it much further while growing up because I was too busy farming.”
It wasn’t until November of 2016 when Rusty allowed himself the time to let his creativity pour out, starting off in woodworking and making dining room tables. “I really wasn’t sure if I could make them,” he said. “But once I thought about it… well it just rolled from there.”
Billie-Shaye Harper was one of the first to order a table from Rusty.
“Rusty is one of the single most talented people I have ever met,” said Harper. “Within hours of contacting him about building a table for me we had a plan in place and the design process began. He stayed in contact with me through the whole process and delivered a product far beyond what I could have imagined in about six weeks. He currently is building more tables for me and will be my go to guy for furniture like this.”
Rusty creates art in everyday items. He tries not to spend much on materials, instead looking for old pieces in sink holes or those tossed away by others. He has made beautiful art out of shovels, saws, whisky barrels, barn wood, and spare metal.
“When I put the kids down for the night, I will lay in my bed and ideas will come pouring into my head. I have to get up right then,” said Rusty, who doesn’t look at what he does as work at all. “If you are doing something you love, you never really work a day in your life,” he said.
Along with being talented, Rusty is also deeply ingrained in his belief in the Lord. He says he always went to church growing up and always knew there was a God, but now that he is older, he feels a connection with Him in a way that powers over everything he does.
“Nothing comes from me,” said Rusty. “It’s all God. He is the one who gives me any talent I may have. My only hope is that I don’t let Him down and that whatever I do, you can see Him through it.”
You can view some of Rusty’s art on his Facebook Page. You can contact him at Rustorations at 270-847-1996.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.