Local art now has its own store, Made in Martinsville.
The store is located at 105 E. Main St. in Martinsville and is owned by Forrest Forschmiedt, who is originally from Seattle, Washington but has lived in Martinsville for the past 4 years with his wife, Alice Forschmiedt.
The store opened on August 25th.
Forrest Forschmiedt has been involved in various arts and crafts for years, including woodwork and handmade soap.
“I saw that part of the local art scene was a bit lacking, which was a place like this,” Forschmiedt said, “to showcase and show all the stuff that’s being made by the artists and makers here.” ”
The store aims to pair its own items with “as many other great, locally made things” as it could find and support Uptown Martinsville’s revitalization efforts.
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His passion for starting a shop like this came from different places, but mostly growing up in an artistic household where art was encouraged and appreciated, he said.
He said that artists require their items to be sold in-store, but he also connects with creators through word of mouth and looks out for products that he thinks would fit in his store.
The items are in the store on a consignment basis, where he takes a percentage off the top and pays the artist for them when they sell, he said.
“In order to make the shop more interesting and to encourage people to come, Forschmiedt also offers an “assortment of regional snacks and specialties”.
He said the goal is to keep the store’s produce as local as possible, and at least not from Virginia.
Karen Despot stocks a variety of hand-sewn and knitted goods. The store sells knitted pumpkins, rugs of all styles and colors, bags and more.
She is a painter by profession, but also deals with all kinds of art on the side. Despot has been involved with art since eighth grade and works with all kinds of mediums such as acrylic, oil, watercolor and watercolor pencils.
Her artistic repertoire also includes portraits of houses and pets, and she can be found on her website www.karendespot.com and on the Facebook messenger of the same name.
Art by George Ray Shelton Jr. hangs on the store walls. Shelton began painting in college through an elective course at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He now dabbles in all sorts of mediums and styles.
He said he enjoys learning new techniques from other artists and also works to improve his own techniques. He paints famous paintings by Van Gogh or Picasso, among others, and makes them his own by changing the colors and adding new vibrancy.
His work can be found on his Facebook page George Ray Shelton and on his LinkedIn of the same name.
Ashleigh Pritchard has a stand with greeting cards for purchase at the store’s checkout, but that’s not all she does. She also draws and paints watercolor pet portraits, wedding invitations and more to order.
Through technology, Pritchard is able to scan her art into a computer and create prints, but also save her designs for reuse at a later date when she needs them. She said this is helpful for her greeting cards as images can be easily combined with different words.
Her work can be found on charmcat.net and her social media handle is @paperbycharcat.
Kai Penn stuffed rose teddy bears are on display in the front of the store. She markets her handmade gift items under the name andlove.
Each bear comes in a hand-blown, hand-etched glass case with a wooden base. Penn said she launched andlove in January and has more products in the works.
The facebook page is andlove and the tik tik is andlove.gifts.
Other items offered in the shop are from: Glasswork by Aleen Wilson of Studio 22; oil painting by Betty Bowles; hand-sewn items by Jeremy and Lori Hodges; books by Bonnie Turner; Shadow Boxes by Colleen Butker; Colby Cline wooden calligraphy pen; pottery by George Alderman; Soap and wooden articles by Forrest Forschmiedt; stained and enamel glass by Isabel Wasabi; Hand-dyed textiles by Jennifer Reis; painting by Lauri Callison; bucket hats by Melinda M. Wegener; painting by Mary Donaldson Powell; chairs from Pieces of the Past; signs and soaps by Pat Staeblin; Crochet and Bathe Well by Renee March; Woodcraft by Richard Caldwell; cast clocks by Scott Agee; glassware by Susie Pool; children’s books, wind chimes and purses by Martha Smith; jewelry by Tara Compton; and books by Tom Perry.
Monique Holland is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 276-734-9603.