Story Ideas

10 things you need to know about… artisan stops in Nova Scotia.

Painters, rug hookers and distillers are just some of the great local creators plying their trade on the South Shore of this Maritime province.

10 December 2014

Suggested tweet: Discover hat makers, quilters, rug hookers + other artisans along @VisitNovaScotia South Shore #explorecanada

Saltwater-tinged air and small-town charm—welcome to Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s Maritime provinces. Hopscotch along the South Shore to discover how some of the region’s artisans, from painters to rug hookers, are inspired by their seashore history and unique culture.

1) Windbag Company “upcycles” blown-out sailcloth into one-of-a-kind bags and totes. Each bag has a label that tells the story of the boat the cloth came from. The eco-friendly business has diverted thousands of kilograms of sailcloth from landfill sites.

2) Create or purchase something artistic via Encompassing Designs Rug Hooking Studio’s shop and classroom. A group called the Main Street Hookers meets twice monthly and wool is dyed right on site.

3) Knitting enthusiast Heather Tunnah runs Have a Yarn, a shop filled with locally hand-dyed yarns and hand-processed artisan wools. Guest speakers discuss technique and natural fibres, while onlookers settle into their knitting and crochet projects.

4) Watch the pewter artisans at work in the open studio at Amos Pewter in Mahone Bay. The craftsmen continue a strong eastern-seaboard tradition of working with pewter, a material used by the early settlers for cups and bowls. Today, artisans produce ornaments, jewellery and home décor.

5) The hand-thrown commemorative plates created by Birdsall-Worthington Pottery are one-of-a-kind family heirlooms. The unique slipware technique—pieces are decorated before being kiln fired—creates an endless variety of finishes.

6) Ironworks Distillery is known for award-winning rums, but they also make small-batch, fruity liqueurs using berries picked in Nova Scotia. The Lunenburg micro distillery brews in an 1893 marine blacksmith’s shop that once made ironworks for the South Shore shipbuilders.

7) Award-winning quilt artist Laurie Swim’s work is on display at the Art Gallery of the Atlantic in Lunenburg. Connect with the artist at the shop and gallery; you can also view her original quilted artworks and browse books, prints and cards.

8) The restoration of the Bluenose II was captured by the project’s official photographer, Mark Doucette, and official artist, Peter Matyas. Their images capture the past and present of Canada’s iconic schooner, which is based in Lunenburg.

9) What happens when you take talented seamstresses and mix them together? The Lunenburg Makery space includes a sewing studio, workshops, drop-in projects, sew-by-the-hour and evening craft circles. 

10) In Lunenburg, The Hat Junkie fulfills owner Anna Shoub’s fascination with quality, handmade millinery. The selection includes fascinators, rain hats and hats made from straw, felt, jersey and fleece.

Looking for more visual inspiration from Nova Scotia? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

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