Thursday, 25 August 2016

Our Latest Amazing Find

One of the things that makes working with rocks so interesting is that you never know what you are going to find and what it will look like when you have finished it.
Last year, we found a small rock on the beach across from our house. I finally got around to sorting the material and decided that I would work this rock right away.
I started to grind one side and right away I saw an organic pattern. I continued to grind and polish and ended up with something pretty spectacular. The stone was now only about 1 cm thick and I had to decide if I would just grind the back down or try to cut it. I took a chance and cut it and managed to end up with two spectacular slabs.

The larger stone is about 4.7 cm x 4 cm x 0.4 cm thick.
Sorry for the quality of the shots. They are a little out of focus but in person they are extraordinarily clear and sharply defined but now the big question is- what is it?
I'm pretty sure I know.
A lot of the sedimentary rock in this area is from the carboniferous period that lasted between 360 and 300 million years ago. At that time, there was a plant that looked like a palm tree but was a conifer and had cones like the pine cones you might find today. This is a cross section of a part of one of those cones! The organic material has been replaced by silicate but you can still see a lot of structure- especially on the outside. This is one of those pieces that you want to leave rough on the outside because it is as interesting as the polished part.
Vickie is going to wire wrap one in silver and use a silver chain. The other will be done less expensively.
The person wearing it will be wearing something that started its existence over 300 million years ago
Pretty cool, huh?
I have a lot of really nice stone to work so if you are going to be in the area, stop by and see what's going on. You might even take home a piece of The Neck!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

A Hidden Creative Gem on Long Island

If you're like me, the thing that makes a trip special is finding hidden treasure- some thing, person or experience you didn't expect but that creates memories that last long after you return home. You know, the one you can't wait to tell your friends about. "WE found this amazing..."
Well, do I have a place for you!
Leave The Artist's Mark Shop in Rossway and head west on Hwy. #217 to East Ferry. Once you cross to Long Island go about a half mile and you'll see a yellow building on the left (Long Island Trading) and a church on the right. Just past the church there is a lane going to the right.
 Take it- you'll thank me later.
 On the right, at the end, you'll find your prize in the form of an art studio featuring the work of Pat Sollows and Jamie Baxter.

Pat and Jamie are both exceptional artists, part of a wonderful creative group who have chosen to call Digby Neck home.
As with Vickie, their work is not for everyone but for those who "get it" , the bond is exciting and intense.
Here is one of Jamie's pieces entitled Homage to Jerry.
And here are a couple of Pat's pieces entitled The Swimmer and Whale Dirge.

It's impossible for me to do their art justice on this blog but if you like this small sample, you can see more at or just plan a visit to their studio.
Pat and Jamie are two wonderful people who will make you feel at home as you experience what their amazing talents have produced (and be sure to ask them about their seaweed bath).
Come and see us sometime. You'll find all sorts of hidden gems on our unique, spectacular Digby Neck.

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Neck- A Hub of Creativity

The strip of geography from Digby to Brier Island is one of the most interesting areas of Nova Scotia. The geology is  remarkable since we were once part of Africa (I'm not kidding!). The scenery and whale watching are spectacular and the people are super friendly.

But one thing that really sets us apart and makes it a great place to visit is our creativity. Recently, a group of dedicated locals organized the Breaking Waves Festival of music and art. It was a tremendous success and you can learn more by visiting their web site

If you visit the site, you will see this amazing bit of creativity:

The flag was created by Gary Wilson of Sandy Cove and it really captures the unique geography of our beautiful locale. Three separate land masses are separated by narrow cuts caused by shear faults that have broken up the basalt massif that forms the spine of the neck.

This has, in turn, inspired me!

I am going to start finishing agate, amethyst and maybe even glass to create a three piece pendant I am calling the Digby NeckLACE. Keep watching the blog to see examples of the finished pieces. I may not have anything this season but look for a good supply next spring.

Hey, even the weather is creative around here. It was raining a little while ago but sunny now and a lady who was just in the shop told me that it was clear at Petite Passage but fogged in on Brier Island. Often, it can be the complete reverse.

Never a dull moment!

Cheers and see you soon!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Why I LOVE Digby Neck!

One of the most rewarding aspects of having a shop on Hwy. #217 on Digby Neck is the people you meet. We have encountered Doctors, Lawyers and Indian Chiefs (from India!).
Today's treat was Gabriel.
He showed up in the retirement present he bought for himself.

That's me sitting inside.

Pretty cool inside as well as out, huh?

Check the blog over the next week. When my friend Ted Lazare was visiting from Sydney Australia, he and Vickie had two major agate finds. I'm just sorting the stuff now and will start working a few pieces later today. When I am finished a few, I'll post 'em on the blog.

It's been a great summer but there is still time to come visit the most interesting place in Nova Scotia!