Sunday, June 8, 2008


Ever since we moved to Refuge Cove in 2001 (summer only), I've been involved with the Cortes Island Craft Cooperative. This is a small shop located in the tiny berg of Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island located one island away from ours (its about a 15 minute boat ride for us). The Cooperative has approximately 40 members each year who produce amazing work in a variety of genres: pottery, watercolors, photography, a wide range of fiber arts, jewelry, soap, woodworking, writing (books by local authors), etc. Since this area (Desolation Sound by name) is a boater's mecca in the summer, the Craft Shop has developed a fantastic reputation for having unique, quality items for reasonable value. I believe we are topping the sales at about 50K for 3 months of sales each year...not bad. Being a cooperative, members who display are able to decrease the 30% commission by working in the shop. Typically I work 5 days each summer.
Cortes is such an interesting place (and with a fabulous website!). It is natural, funky, enlightened, feeling, spiritual, lively, organic and the like. Don't forget beautiful! Tom says its like stepping into the 60's! Its our stepping stone to civilization as we have to travel to Cortes, then ferry to Quadra, then another ferry to Campbell River on Vancouver Island where we have highways and shopping and all those other things which we try not to frequent. Once a month is just fine!
So today was a workday for me. I have been slow to add my product to the inventory this summer as I am busy with other projects, but I do have dyed napkins, hand-dyed bundles, and some of the silk scarves I've been painting. When I arrived, I had to work on displaying my scarves on a small ladder type piece that Tom made for me. The day being a bit chilly, I was surprised when a rush of customers came in - both browsers and purchasers. Once everyone left, I took a fiber arts photo tour of the shop to share on my blog. What an array or items!

There are many sewn bags and the like from commercial fabric, felted items, table runners, cloth birds with emu feather tails, wool (natural and dyed), woven items and other lovely treasures. The wealth of talent in the fiber arts is amazing, and I am proud to be a part of this group.

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