Winter Harbor Artisans & Antiques features antiques and artisans’ creations
Cathy Martin has always loved taking pictures.
“I was the kid with the camera for the whole family,” Martin said. “I loved traveling and just always had my camera with me.”
The Massachusetts native didn’t start selling her prints, though, until three years ago, when Winter Harbor Artisans & Antiques opened its doors. Her photos on view there reflect her love of the Schoodic Peninsula’s wild beauty. The images range from the snow-dusted Mount Desert hills and the Winter Harbor Light standing out in the foreground to late Maine sculptor Don Meserve’s granite piece, “Cleat,” visible at low tide in Henry Cove.
“[My friends] encouraged me for years to sell my photography, and I don’t know, one day I just decided, ‘OK, I’m going to go for it and see how it works,’” Martin explained.
The photographer calls her enterprise His Creations.
“[I enjoy] just looking at what God has created,” she reflected. “I like the solitude. I can go sit up at Schoodic for hours and then a boat will come by, and the sun will be setting, and just capturing those things — it’s very peaceful.”
At Winter Harbor Artisans & Antiques, Whitmer-Hammond Antiques owners Bob Hammond and Valerie Whitmer-Hammond manage the 357 Main St. shop. The Hammonds, Martin and the shop’s other artisans take turns minding the store.
Besides Martin’s work, shoppers also can find stoneware pottery from Massachusetts College of Art and Design student Vanessa Norris, watercolors by 82-year-old Winter Harbor artist Louise Shaw, hand-felted and embellished wool scarves from Downeast Fiber Farm’s Hatie Clingerman and custom tiles from Franklin ceramist Kim Walker.
The Hammonds weren’t sure if art and antiques would sell well together, but they’ve been happily surprised.
“People will come in and pick up a sea glass necklace, and then go over and buy an antique,” Bob Hammond said.
Hammond and Whitmer-Hammond possess a combined 78 years of antique experience. Born in Pittsfield and East Millinocket, respectively, they now make their home in Birch Harbor.
Since most of the artists are local, it’s easy for them to refresh the inventory, often weekly. Many strive to be present in the store, too.
“Artists do their art [here] whenever they can,” Martin said, noting Hancock fiber artist Hatie Clingerman “will bring her spinner, and she’ll sit outside and spin so people can get a better idea [of the process].”
Many of the displayed collections reflect their locale. Walker’s tiles feature lobsters and puffins. Martin photographs her favorite places in and around Winter Harbor.
Next year, Hammond said the group hopes to expand into the second story and highlight the creations of more artists and artisans.
Winter Harbor Artisans & Antiques
Where: 357 Main St., Winter Harbor
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Sunday