Saturday, February 18, 2012

Featured Vendor: Carolina Coaster Company

One of my favorite things about hosting the Lowcountry Artist Market is meeting new (and amazing) vendors.  At each market I'm always impressed by the quality of work produced - and during each application process I feel the same way.  In the latest round of applications, I was happily introduced to Carolina Coaster Company and can't wait to have them at the March 3rd market.  Here's the scoop on Cindy and her company:

About three years ago my husband and I were frequenting an arts festival in Atlanta Ga. We came upon a vendor who had the coolest coasters. They were photographs of restaurants and local points of interest to the area. We had such a fun time standing there looking at all the coasters and choosing the ones that had a special meaning for us. (To this day I have the one of The Fox Theater sitting here beside me on my desk.) David said, “You know, you could do this. It would go over well in Charleston and I know you would do a great job.” The seed was planted. 

For the next couple of years I spent time perfecting my technique. You see, the coasters we bought in Atlanta were just photographs glued onto man-made tiles. I knew that I wanted to, as Emeril says “Kick it up a notch”, if I was going to be a part of this venture. I wanted the photographs to look as if they were part of the stone not just glued to it. Off and on for months I would come up with a new idea, test it and be disappointed. Then last spring I finally perfected my technique. The next step was to test it on friends. Not just any friends; picky friends who couldn’t hide their opinions. And guess what. They loved them!  And the rest, as they say, is history.

If you were to have asked Cindy Ellsworth a couple of years ago if she was an artist she would probably have said no.  She probably wouldn’t have considered home making, gardening and quilting to be art. However, the skills achieved from these and many other life experiences have come together to enable her to form Carolina Coaster Company, thus affirming what many had known all along.  She is just that; an artist. 

These coasters make great gifts - perfect as wedding gifts for your wedding party.  Or in corporate welcome bags.  Or for your significant other, of a local spot that means something to you (hint hint, Michael).  Having lived here for a little over 4 years and being married here in that time, there are so many places that are special to me.  Here are a few of my favorite coasters:

I can't wait to see Cindy's selection at the Artist Market.  I definitely need the one of the Music Farm!

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