Monday, September 20, 2010

Sarah's Spotlight - Bear Paw Rustics

I typically feature shops with a lot of information in their profiles to help guide my spotlight. But I came across Bear Paw Rustics and decided to break tradition. In preparing for fall, I recently searched "autumn" in Etsy. One of the first items that showed up was a handmade birdhouse. My father, who sadly passed away two years ago, loved all of our backyard critters. His favorite birthday or father's day gift was a 25 lb bag of sunflower seeds. We never had many bir houses, but there was an endless supply of bird and squirrel feeders. I think we are the one family that doesn't mind if the squirrel manages to climb up the "squirrel-proof" bird feeder because there's always enough to go around! So Bear Paw Rustics hits a special chord in me. I also hold a special place for fellow Mainers! Although I've transplanted myself to Boston, I'm still a Mainer at heart.

This store owner does much more than create bird houses. Bear Paw Rustics also sells various types of art, stools, coat/key racks and walking sticks. All of the coat/key racks are made of salvaged items. Everything else starts in nature. Birdhouses are made with jute, hemp, pine needs, moss, sticks, deer antlers, pine cones, and other great forest finds. Each birdhouse has its own unique character to make it one of a kind! The owner includes a great picture of a bird nesting in a birdhouse in his own backyard.

I am equally impressed with Bear Paw Rustics' assemblage and salvage art. I particularly like the way he paints wood disks into flowers and trees and then incorporates them with sticks and other objects found in nature. It's such an interesting combination and creative way to turn nature into art! The shop owner uses antique and vintage hardware to make intriguing coat/key rack. And of course, each rack starts wood to bring each piece back to nature.

Also be sure to check out the hiking/walking sticks. Most are made from rock maple, but this store owner has turned a few weathered pool cue into hiking sticks. Each hiking stick has a wrist strap for easier travel. The store owner hopes that his line of hiking sticks will encourage everyone to get outside, exercise, and enjoy nature!

What is most impressive is that this shop owner carries his personality throughout his store. Each piece is one of a kind and has its own mark, but looking through the shop, you can see patterns and trends emerge. The shop owner does a great job keeping a consistent style. Bear Paw Rustics is approaching 300 sales, so we know he's doing something right! Be sure to show this great shop some love!

Peek a boo!

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