Ive been talking about shops and shopkeepers who are raising the bar on the Peninsula; and as we approach the magical summer tourist and retail season, Id like to mention another shop of note: Tied Pool Creations in downtown Ocean Park, on Bay Avenue two blocks from the beach.
Last year, Lynda Lane wrote about owners Angela and Brian Pierce, but now that theyve passed their one year anniversary, things in the shop have changed. Though many of us Baby Boomers looked in their windows with delight when we saw amazing rainbow colors swirling around on Angelas T-shirts, baby clothes, and banners, there is much more than immediately meets the eye if you walk in the store and nose around.
People think were only a clothing store, said Angela, but we are more than that. Weve expanded the shop beyond tie-dye because we could see that it wouldnt support itself with just one type of item. So weve brought in other Peninsula crafters both to give them an outlet for what theyre making and to broaden the range of items in the store.
Is everyone an artist?
Lynn Pierce (no relation to Angela and Brian), known as Lyndi to her friends, paints owls extraordinaire. She explains how she came to be part of the shop. Angela was the first person I met on the Peninsula. Id just moved here I bought my house a while ago but I was still commuting from Seattle. I was out on the beach with my dog and there was Angela walking her dog. Our dogs kind of became friends and we ended up talking to each other while the dogs played. So thats how it started. We just hit it off.
I grew up all over the U.S. because my dad was in the Navy, Lynn said. Ive been in every state except New Hampshire, Hawaii and Alaska. By the time I had graduated from high school I had been to 18 different schools in 12 years! So Ive been around. But I always said this is where I wanted to retire. And now Ive parked myself here and Im not moving. Im having a wonderful time.
Lynn paints charming and biologically accurate owls native to our region, but not on canvasses; shes chosen a harder medium to work with rocks! She explains, The shape of the rock inspires me or I find a photograph that will adapt itself to a rock its quite a process because when I get a rock it might sit around for quite awhile until I find the right piece of wood or vice versa. [Lynn generally mounts the rock onto a piece a driftwood for display or hanging.] When Im ready, I gesso the rock to give it a basecoat or two. Then I sketch out the owl and I use acrylic paint. These can be hung either inside or outside. I have one on my house now that has been outside 23 years and its still in pretty good shape.
Im surprised how many artists there are here. One of my girlfriends came to visit from Seattle. We went to yard sales one weekend and just about every place we stopped there was an artist. And she commented, Is everybody on this Peninsula an artist?
Im so glad I found Angela and her shop. Im here to stay. Stop by if you have a hankering for a Northern Hawk or a Burrowing Owl or any number of other owly characters. I have five new ones Im working on right now, says Lynn.
No imported stuff
Another featured craftsperson, in fact its a family venture, is Denise Bergman and Cedar Creek metal sculpture. I love what Angela is doing because she doesnt have all that stuff imported from Asia or Mexico. Our family works together to make metal art weve been approached for articles many times, but we prefer to keep a low profile.
As for how Denise and her family found our artistic hidey-hole, she says, When we were young, every chance we got wed come here for vacation. Of course, we were a young family so we couldnt afford to stay in hotels we bought an El Camino and would sleep in the back. At least once a month wed come for a long weekend. Ive loved the ocean my whole life. So, finally, we bought a lot and eventually built a home here.
The Bergman family works together to create a range of sculptures whimsical spiders, wacky birds and comical creatures all welded from recycled metal and old tools. My children are very creative and all my aunts and uncles were too. My uncle was a painter. And when my aunt would come to the beach for a visit shed say to us kids, Go gather stuff up and well make something. So wed run through the house or bring back pine cones, or fabric or stuff just laying. Wed take her a pile and she would make all kinds of things with it. I thought that was really cool.
Now my grandson Nathan is very talented. He has designed several sculptures for us and we weld them. My daughter Danielle also helps. Weve got pitchfork birds, fishbowls of metal objects, bird baths. Nathan designed a 30-foot snake out of conduit when he was eight or nine.
Were grateful every day
As for Angela and Brian, they left long-standing jobs at a print shop to reinvent themselves. Brian had worked there 26 years and Angela 20 when they decided they were in a trade that was starting to peter out, as Angela put it. We were living in Portland then moved to Tacoma and then 2.5 years later ran away screaming. Too much traffic. Wed been coming to the Peninsula since we were kids and on one of those last visits, Brian and I just looked at each other and said, What would we have to do to live here?
Fortunately for Peninsula tourists and local craftspeople, they figured it out. We love it here. Well never leave. Were grateful every day.
So stop by Tied Pool Creations and support Denise; Lynn; Lori Herman and Susan Brost (crocheted gift items); Dawn Parker (rugs, shawls, hats and scarves); Tommy Faught (wood art); Lisa Gillespie (photography, sea glass jewelry); Cathy Hamilton (home décor); David Poynter (colored-pencil notecards); Jeneane Dufour (hand-sewn totes); Patti Bagley-Hill (lavender gifts); Anna Thompson (photography); Frieda Lloyd and Varian Parham (jewelry); Vivian Easter (oil and watercolor); Mary DeLong (beaded bracelets); Jamie Stewart (tutus); Kenard Burchette (walking sticks); and Ann Sadler (drawings and jewelry).
If youre a crafter who makes something beautiful, whimsical or colorful, talk to Brian and Angela. Maybe theyll carry your work.
And please remember to support Ilwaco senior Anja Pattens performance this Saturday at the Hilltop Auditorium, 3 p.m. a fundraiser for Camp Victory.