If you're interested - here's a little bit of "our story" . . .
There are only a few of us behind the scenes at Blackwater Folk Art. We never had aspirations to be a mega-business. We just want to make our mark as an homegrown, American-made company like the kind of small businesses that used to thrive in our country!
Pam Mitchell, the artist and driving force behind Blackwater Folk Art, grew up as part of an extended family that loved the outdoors, gardening and creating something from nothing. One grandmother, Ma Gracie, was an artist in her own right. She created beautiful and functional quilts from the fabric scraps generated by her occupation as a seamstress. She didn't know she was an artist at the time, and she would have laughed if you had called her one. Looking at what she fashioned with her hands (and an old treadle sewing machine), we all realize it now, long after she's gone. We treasure those quilts and memories! Sitting at her feet during quilting bees, Pam learned to combine cast offs with other odds and ends into little gifts and treasures for those she loved. Somehow she's never outgrown the idea of "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear," and she still loves her daily work with simple materials.
Pam's daughter, Gracie (named after Ma Gracie) has participated in the family business since she was a child - she began by decorating little flower pots with her thumbprints. Now her son, E.J., stays busy at the workshops creating his own little signs and yard art. If you're one of the lucky ones, you've received a shipment with his artwork scrawled on the outside of your cardboard box! When he runs out of paper he's learned to make do! It must run in the family!
For the first decade or so of business, we concentrated mostly on making birdhouses and birdfeeders out of cypress lumber milled locally. When a series of hurricanes struck our part of paradise, a lot changed very quickly. With those storms, came an abundance of raw material that absolutely cried out to be turned into something fun and functional. Today, many years later, we help provide livelihoods for a number of local families that salvage old warehouses, barns and dilapidated buildings in order to provide us with the recycled metal we use to craft our goods. Most of our painters and crafters are self taught artists with a love of color and creativity. We all enjoy the lighthearted nature of our product and the way that people respond to the whimsy and humor that we instill in it. Everything we do is painted by hand, not by machines, and yes, occasionally you'll get a sign with a "typo" which just goes to show you that it's really, really one of a kind and hand-done! (We'll always make that right by the way; we pride ourselves on our customer service!)
Please know that by purchasing our work, you are helping to carry on a family tradition. We hope you'll enjoy what we've created.
Thanks and God bless you!