Linda Ravenswood on Tressa Schaeffer

“It takes more than money to make something out of nothing...”

GRANDMA TRESSA SCHAEFFER PRISBREY built 13 little bungalows out of glass bottles and other recycled material over the last half of her life after raising seven children. It started as a place to house her pencil collection, then her doll collection, and then she just couldn't stop. Her amazing hand-made monument is called Bottle Village. Linda Ravenswood loves Grandma Prisbrey, an energetic and delightful folk artist who kept building her vision to the very end.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Linda Ravenswood

Linda Ravenswood (BFA, MA, PhD abd) is a poet and performance artist from Los Angeles. Founder and Editor-in-chief of The Los Angeles Press, and co-founding member of Melrose Poetry Bureau, Linda is a two time Pushcart Prize nominee, a winner of The California Writers Grant / Yefe Nof Award 2019, an Asylum Arts Fellow 2020, and finalist for The International Beverly Prize for Literature 2019. Current projects (2020) include partnerships with PEN USA, The City of West Hollywood,The Poetry Society of New York, and Hinchas Press. She was shortlisted for Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2017. A full collection of her poetry, rock waves / sloe drags is forthcoming from Eyewear London, 2021.

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Featured Woman

Tressa Schaeffer

Married at 15, Tressa Schaeffer Prisbrey moved to Seattle with her 7 children. All the while, she collected things. Pencils, dolls, doll heads. Tressa bought a piece of land in Santa Susana and built 13 structures, made of glass bottles—all collected from the dump. A home for her pencil collection, her doll heads, and more. And when all but one child died, she built each a memorial home of glass. Visitors paid a quarter to visit. Grandma Prisbrey gifted her land and Village to Simi Valley. Since the ’94 Northridge earthquake, artists and friends of Bottle Village have tried to maintain this monument to the woman who turned glass bottles into art.