Thursday, September 18, 2008

QUESTIONS FOR CRAFTERS: Patrick and Sharyl Skinner

Introducing a new contributor to TCA - local interior decorator Trina Brandon, whose blog DecorAddict features interviews with local Canadian designers as well as locally made goods, original art, and design tips.

In this first piece Trina interviews driftwood chic artists Patrick and Sharyl Skinner.

During my visit to Flik & Company in Leslieville a few week's ago, I noticed a chandelier crafted out of driftwood....

Patrick and Sharyl Skinner1 was absolutely stunning, completely different from anything I'd ever seen before, and would look absolutely fantastic in the lakeside home I don't have on Lake Joseph. One can dream, can't they?

Stephen Howard, owner/designer at Flik and Company, put me in contact with the people behind it, Patrick and Sharyl Skinner.

I had to share more of their work with you, I hope you all enjoy !!!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Name, location, personal stuff (not too personal of course)
We are Patrick and Sharyl Skinner. I (Patrick) am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sharyl is born and raised in South Riverdale, now known as Leslieville. I am retired U.S. Navy and Sharyl and I met on the Internet in a trivia chat room. We became best friends, fell in love, then married. We have been married a year and a half now. We spend most every moment of our day together and wouldn't have it any other way.

What do you do for a living?
We Have a little delivery business. Mostly one or two items of furniture in our Astro for designer type stores. That's how we met Stephan Howard and became associated with Flik & Company, delivering for him and his clients. We also recently opened up a booth in the Cookstown Antique Market. We have been creating things since day one together.

How did you discover your talent as a crafts person?
We are both artistically inclined and have been dabbling all our lives. We had just never had the luxury of time nor space to really get daring.

Patrick and Sharyl Skinner3

How did it finally come together?
I have a habit of saying, "we could make that" and Sharyl usually replies with, "I know we can, and I want one so.... why don't we". Now, when ever we need or want something, like an office desk, an easel a nautical lamp or most recently a kitchen island, we just look at what has been done and add our personal touch. It seems to come easy and we enjoy a sense of accomplishment doing it ourselves.

Where do you get your inspiration/influence for your creations?
Our inspirations come from keeping an open mind and creative spirit. Seeing something old and discarded, not for what it was but, what it could be. Also, keeping in mind that our landfills don't have to be as full if we just follow the "recycle, re-use and re-purpose" motto. We love to treasure hunt. We search the streets, alleys and beaches for that which has been deemed unusable and use it. We love Lake Ontario driftwood and garbage night!

What are some of your goals in the next 5 years?
We like to fly by the seat of our pants. We like surprises a lot! I guess our only goals are, to fall in love again every time we wake up, to have fun with what ever the next adventure just so happens to be and to rob the greedy landfill of as much useful material as possible.

Patrick and Sharyl Skinner4

What keeps you motivated?
Well, we love a challenge and it seems our imaginations challenge us constantly. It's fun to wonder, what can we make today or what can we make with THAT?

What's the most important thing you'd like people to know/understand about you and/or your work?
We want people to know that we try to re-use materials as much as possible. If we can keep even one item from making it's way to the landfill today, we have made a difference.

How would someone go about purchasing some of your work? Is there a particular store(s) where your creation's are available?
We have just recently started to market our work (our house is too full). Stephan Howard, owner of Flik & Co. Interiors, has been gracious enough to display several of our pieces and we have a booth in the Cookstown Antique Market. If anyone would like to see what we have done to date they can check out our Photobucket page. If they see something they like or want to talk about an idea they have, we would love to try to help.

Describe your perfect day?
What could be more perfect than spending every day, doing what you love, with the person you love?

Patrick and Sharyl Skinner2


Trina Brandon is an Interior Decorating Consultant and the editor/author of DecorAddict, a Canadian Interior Design/Decor blog focusing on independent artisans, designers and retailers in Canada.


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