Residents of and visitors to Fernie lined up outside Sarah Pike’s home on Friday evening, waiting for the doors to open on Hearth, the annual studio sale.
This is the ninth year that local artists have gathered together to feature their work in this annual pop-up gallery. The event was held December 6 and 7 in potter Sarah Pike’s home and seemed to be extremely popular, with a steady flow of shoppers browsing around the house.
“Every year it feels like it grows,” said Pike of the event. “Either through word of mouth or having new artists bring their friends and family to the event. This year we have the same artists as last year but I’m the only one who has been doing it the whole time.”
Displayed on shelves and tables through the entrance room, living room and kitchen was art by six local artists. Pike’s pottery was on display beside prints by Clawhammer Letterpress, paintings by Michael Hepher, jewellery by Element 7 Nine, soft goods by Nick Marks of Mona Design and lamps & leatherwork by Holly Horses.
“It is very much a community thing,” Pike explained. “We all work together to put the sale on. It’s at my house but we all work together so we’re all working the sales table, we’re all promoting it, we’re all equal in it. It’s supposed to be about community and supporting each other and promoting each other, that’s why we do it as a group.”
For Pike, this is her only physical event to sell her work to the community since she’s not currently selling her pottery anywhere else in town. She noted that although she does do online sales, there is something special about getting to interact with shoppers.
“For me, selling online is amazing but I don’t get to meet the customers. I don’t get this experience of seeing friends and making new ones and seeing people touch the work and explore the work and discover it so for me this is a really nice thing to do because you get that interaction with the customers.”
The event was very festive and holiday themed, with snacks laid out and an overall feeling of Christmas cheer in the air. Pike said that she hopes people enjoy coming to look at and purchase the art, but also that they enjoy the festive theme of the event.
“I just really appreciate this community coming out and supporting handmade stuff, supporting their fellow citizens who are making things.”
One thing that Pike really appreciated about the showing of support on Friday night wasthat despite having such a small population, Fernie is alive with spirit.
“I was saying to my husband this morning, there’s not a lot of people that live here, there’s only 5,000 people but we have such a great community spirit so people come out for events.”