Unexpected treasures, the artists in your community…

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my sister-n-law, Kristin, brought me to the most amazing gift shop in Northwood, NH.  This sleepy, little New Hampshire town right on Route 4 has some wonderful antique and locally owned gift shops.  Sharon Barrett and her partner Paula LaBelle are two professional artists that shine.

Turning Wood is a unique art form and there are a few different ways to achieve a finished product.  There are a lot of people out there that participate in this form as a hobby, an advanced amateur, of course the professionals and then you have Sharon and Paula.

Sharon is on the left working in their studio, Paul is on the right with some of their furry friends.
Sharon is on the left working in their studio, Paula is on the right with some of their furry friends. (Photos from the nicefigures.com website)
This delightful little brood of animals meet you at the door!
This delightful little brood meets you at the door!

Each piece they make is carefully curated.  This team sources their materials from all over New Hampshire and beyond. They choose pieces of wood that will turn out unique coloring in the finished product. (Yes – that pun was intended!)

Some of the beautiful gifts that you can buy in the gallery.  Another of my favorites was the turned vase on the right, they incorporated glass into the wood.
Some of the beautiful gifts that you can buy in the gallery. Another of my favorites was the turned vase on the right, they incorporated glass into the wood.

They take ordinary object shapes and make them extraordinary.  They have many beautiful, unique gifts to choose from and no two pieces are the same.  One piece I loved in particular was a bowl.  I know, I said a bowl.  But there is an amazing story behind the materials chosen for this bowl.

The Story of Grafted Walnut “A grafted piece of wood is by definition the union of two items that strengthen the whole of two. You can see the dark line of the graft, the swirls where it grew together and on either side two distinct colors of wood, the dark American Walnut and the lighter English Walnut.  Each sapling is capable of growing into a fine tree but because of this union, they are stronger, more resilient, and more productive as a whole.  In the same way, a union of two people will create a stronger and more diverse bond that completes the individuals in ways they don’t realize until they find that person who helps then thrive and grow.” (From a sign in the shop.)
The Story of Grafted Walnut
“A grafted piece of wood is by definition the union of two items that strengthen the whole of two. You can see the dark line of the graft, the swirls where it grew together and on either side two distinct colors of wood, the dark American Walnut and the lighter English Walnut. Each sapling is capable of growing into a fine tree but because of this union, they are stronger, more resilient, and more productive as a whole. In the same way, a union of two people will create a stronger and more diverse bond that completes the individuals in ways they don’t realize until they find that person who helps then thrive and grow.” (From a sign in the shop.)

I say this time and again, look in your community for the unexpected treasures that await you.  What makes this little gallery in a small town in New Hampshire worth visiting?  These two amazing artists greet you at the door with a smile and they share information and stories about their craft.  This is the perfect place to buy a unique gift for any celebration. (This amazing bowl would be a beautiful wedding or anniversary gift!)  These women are not just professionals in their craft, but experts in their field.  It’s hard being a small, CREATIVE, business in this big world of corporate EVERYTHING.  Find the special, be unique, dare to give something that was made with precision, thought and passion.  Give something that will be a special treasure, an heirloom that can be cherished for many years to come.

Please visit them online (they ship gifts too!) www.nicefigures.com.  Or if you are in southern New Hampshire, stop by and check them out in person!  504 1st NH Turnpike Northwood, NH 03261 603-942-5990
Please visit them online (they ship gifts too!) www.nicefigures.com and like them on  Facebook. Or if you are in southern New Hampshire, stop by and check them out in person!
504 1st NH Turnpike (Route 4)
Northwood, NH 03261
603-942-5990

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