DIGBY NECK, NS- Customers sometimes ask the owners of Artist’s Mark gift shop, who Mark is.
But the store isn’t named after a person, it’s named that because all of their souvenirs are handmade.
“Everything in here has a mark on it from an artist,” Peter said.
Handmade paintings, polished rocks, handbags, jewelry, yarn and knitted clothing to name just a few of the gifts stocking the shelves.
Peter is a geologist and Vickie is an abstract, mixed media artist but specializes in polymer clay.
They often comb the shores of Nova Scotia looking for interesting rocks and crystals, to sell on their own or to be made into jewelry.
Peter thinks Vickie has the best eye for finding rocks, he says.
“My eyes see something, and my brain says, ’Woah you have to stop and look’ after a while your brain just knows what to look for,” she said.
Peter admits he’s learned a lot about polishing and cutting rocks from trial and error.
But the end result is all worth it.
“The closer you look at them, the more amazing it becomes,” he said looking at the many rocks on display in his workshop.
Artist’s Mark sells yarn called Seawall Fibres. It’s sold worldwide on Etsy and hand dyed by their daughter Lisa, in the Bahamas.
She was inspired by the cliffs and rocks of Nova Scotia, so each color of yarn is named after a rock or mineral.
It’s one of their best sellers at the shop and online they are selling close to 3000 skeins of yarn a year.
Vickie will sometimes make knit clothing to sell, from the shops yarn.
“I absolutely love working with it. It’s so soft,” she added.
Vickie creates all kinds of art.
She's a process painter. She paints in layers and when you hold it up to the light, it breaks down the journey she took to get there.
“I try and leave hints of the process."
She usually doesn’t know what she’s going to paint, it just comes to her when she starts experimenting with different techniques.
“I paint how I’m feeling, sometimes it can get a little messy.”
The store runs an online blog where they keep customers up to date on the shops process and present ‘How to’ presentations.
Since launching the blog it’s been viewed over 50,000 times.
“We get visitors from all over the world,” said Peter.
Keep up with all the creative posts on the Artist's Mark blog: http://artistsmarkshop.blogspot.ca/