By day, Ted Tiller is a HVAC/Maintenance Engineer at the Pere Marquette Hotel, but by night he’s the master of a universe in his Peoria garage. In fact he could easily be called the George Lucas of Peoria. Well, maybe that should read: The Lego George Lucas of Peoria. For this is a Lego Star Wars themed universe constructed and conceived by Ted, who’s known as Farmer Ted after being dubbed that at The Red Barn because someone thought he looked like the Anthony Michael Hall character from the movie “Sixteen Candles.”
The nickname stuck and The Red Barn looms large in Farmer Ted’s Lego legacy because that iconic Peoria bar and building was his first subject matter for his debut as a Lego artist. He created it in 2010 when he was laid off from work. I met Farmer Ted in 2013 at The Red Barn and he showed me this creation which I documented in this MBIP post.
His next piece of Lego art was sports inspired. He created this Lego Cubs emblem and then he started collecting Lego Star Wars kits. Three years ago, he and his girlfriend Dawn turned their garage into an entertainment area and it was then that Farmer Ted became the Master of his Universe. To use his own words, his “Star Wars obsession took over.”
Ted started transforming his garage into a 3-D Star Wars universe and he’s been working on it obsessively ever since. It’s an impressive body of artwork and I guarantee you that there is nothing else like it in Peoria or probably beyond this area! Let’s queue this up and then begin our tour of Farmer Ted’s Star Wars Lego Garage!
There’s Farmer Ted standing proudly in his Star Wars domain. And alcoholic beverages are not only allowed, they’re encouraged! I like it in here already!
Ted says these displays are constantly being re-built and tweaked. All the different characters he’s developed and the stations they inhabit are somewhat overwhelming to look at in person! Pictures cannot do this justice, but I’m trying!
When you’re in here you want to look up because there’s just as much art hanging down from the rafters as below it! Ted told me he has over 50 ships hanging from the ceiling and 16 more ships and vehicles on static display. It’s easy to forget as you look at these intricate objects that they are all made entirely of Lego pieces.
Ted has twelve cases with lego parts in them. He said he buys most of them on eBay or Amazon and a few more on a facebook marketplace page. Friends also donate legos that their kids don’t play with anymore.
This is an island that Farmer Ted created as a tribute to Chef Aaron, who was a co-worker with Ted at the Pere Marquette. Chef Aaron was hospitalized last summer when he started this and he died suddenly before he had finished it. Ted said he’s currently working on a story of Chef Aaron visiting the Star Wars Universe and that can be found on his facebok page along with more information and photos, check that out here: Dork Cave 2.
Farmer Ted holds a Star Wars Lego book that he draws inspiration from. The character in the front and center in the last photo is a special character that Ted worked up especially for my visit.
This is a character that Farmer Ted based upon me! His name is, Darth Storious (because I’m a story-teller) and he’s the only person in the Star Wars universe that has a completely black light saber. Well this certainly is an honor and my thanks to Farmer Ted for creating this tribute character based on me! I’m honored and will put it in a special place at the MBIP World Headquarters!
As cool as this Star Wars garage is in the daytime, it really strikes back when the lights are out in here! It’s a true hidden gem and a collection of 3-D Star Wars Lego art that George Lucas would be proud to have inspired! Fantastic work, Farmer Ted!
In addition to his 3-D Lego Star Wars art, Farmer Ted is also a painter and you can check out more of his work here: Paintings by Farmer.
Meanwhile, back at the MBIP World Headquarters, Darth Storious is pointing at a ticket for the upcoming Mary Monologues show! I love this guy and thanks to Farmer Ted for creating him and for the spectacular tour of his Lego Star Wars Universe, it was truly other-worldly and awe-inspiring!
Tomorrow night is a special and unique show at Industry Brewing starring Hypnohumorist Terry Grawey and Magician and Mentalist, Phil Raso! Cold fresh-brewed beer, delicious food and fun and friendly hypnosis and magic, who could ask for anything more? The show starts at 7PM and you can read all about it at their facecrack events page right here: Terry Grawey & Phil Raso Hypnosis & Magic Show. This is a FREE show, but seating is limited. I’m going and hope to see you there!