There were two other shops that really caught my eye. One was a gallery that may or may not have been the Wild Side Gallery. It did specialise in pictures capturing the North East of England, but with more variety than I recall shown on this link. However, if you have followed this blog for a while, you may recognise some of the places this artist presents. If I've not visited these places and shown them to you, perhaps this is a good list for days (or weekends) away in future!
Possibly my favourite shop of all was one that sells silhouettes. I was sorely tempted by several and may well go back and buy at least one of thes series, just for me.
|Some of these stands were incredibly reasonable in price, like about £10!|
John Speight was in his shop, which also sells scented soap - the first thing you notice upon entering is the wonderful smell - and jewellery that his wife makes. Her pieces are very simple and pretty, appropriate for petite persons like Vivien and me. I was also quite taken with the many jewellery stands on sale in this shop - they looked like they would hold a lot.
As we browsed, John explained how he makes his silhouettes, which is quite a painstaking process, as one would guess. You can see a work in progress here. He even told us the history behind the word 'silhouette', though I had to look it up. I was so absorbed looking at his pictures that I didn't grasp it all.
|These landmarks are instantly recognisable to anyone who lives up here in the NorthEast.|
He gave me permission to take photos, but my pictures don't do his work justice. I couldn't decide whether I liked the 'place' silhouettes best - there is something satisfying about recognising a place when it's presented in a different format - or the trees.
|Is this not a lovely collection of tree personalities?|
|This almost seemed anti-silhouette, but it captures the bird perfectly.|
There is a large tree across the road from us that adds great interest to the view from our house. It's pretty when it is in blossom, but I think it looks its most romantic at dusk.
|This is from a website of John's. More well loved landmarks.|
He also has an Etsy shop, the prices for which are in USD and they include un-framed items starting at under $25. Virtually every hobby and interest is featured (though we did point out there are no running shoes available; would I purchase a silhouette of running shoes, come to think of it...).
Upon learning I had a blog, he also gave me permission to use images from his websites and I knew just the one I wanted, because I'd been unable to get a satisfactory photograph of this and it absolutely took my breath away.
Is this not incredible? There are more examples of his 'finest papercuts' here. They obviously take him a great deal of time to create.
Stepping outside, I could just about see where he got some of his inspiration.