There is a long folk art tradition of making scenes in bottles, often called whimsey bottles. Most familiar in the form of a ship-in-a-bottle, whimsey bottles were actually created in a variety of motifs, created mostly by those in isolated, confined or alienated situations, like sailors, farmers, prisoners or lumbermen. Because they required so much time and focus, whimsey bottles were usually made to help pass the time or allay loneliness, or to distract the mind. They offered demonstrations of skill and tokens of affection for those returning home.

Steve Moseley carries on that tradition by making what he refers to as “Patience Bottles”, so called because of the patience it takes to make them.  He began with ships-in-the-bottle, but got bored with that and switched to satirical scenes often about political or religious themes.  A year or so later he developed a serious and rare auto-immune disease, and faced with his own mortality he stopped caring if his bottles made people angry or uncomfortable and his themes got even more over the top!

Moseley lives in St. Louis, and after several years of fighting this life-threatening disease, he is now in remission. .