When thinking of a farmers’ market, one may often picture tables abounding with colourful produce, fresh baking, and many more local, edible products. However, there’s a whole other side to the Thunder Bay Country Market and it’s one of the reasons our market has become a local-shoppers paradise! You’ll find plenty more specialty products and services including those of our artisans, excited to display new items weekly!
This week’s weekly vendor feature falls to a fairly new artisan to our market, but certainly not to her trade. Creative Cliffs, a small business owned by Marla Cliff, has become a welcomed vendor to our lineup. Marla displays a host of unique, hand-carved wooden creations, and her charming northern-styled carvings have become quite popular for camps, cottages or just in the home.
Creative Cliffs began as a result of Marla’s love for wood-working but is an accomplishment that both her, her sister Melissa, mother and father contribute to. What started out as a hobby with her father three years ago became something she began committing herself to on a regular basis. As a result of her precise detailing on her scroll saw, Marla began receiving comments that she was very talented in her hobby, and Creative Cliffs was born. Because of the family’s surname, Cliff, and the team effort her family has provided, the name seemed to fit well, and all contribute to her designs, and painting/selling her work. Her first main items for sale became wooden children’s puzzles and carvings of children’s names. From there she continued, and her passion for wood carving became stronger as her skills improved. Marla found that animals were a popular subject amongst people, so she began experimenting in carving animals such as horses, bears, eagles and deer. Many of her carvings have become beautiful pieces of northern home decor, including carvings of birds on tree branches, wooden crosses, and silhouettes of family members, to name a few. She also creates camp signs, ideal for hanging up at camps, which have become very popular in our area. Custom household welcome signs display her customer’s names engraved and include some beautiful sceneries of deer or bears in the woods. She even offers a few humorous wall hangings which seem to excite her customers all the more. Her most popular carvings include her sports signs, and range from hockey, baseball and soccer team logos. They are created to be displayed within a shadow box, lit behind with an LED light which changes between fourteen different shades of light. Personalized and truly unique, these make great gifts for the sports fan on your list.
Creative Cliffs has become a great success both locally and nationally, as of late. Marla’s work has been sold to places as far as Calgary, Vancouver, Texas, and even London, England! In February, Marla began vending her work at the market and has since become one of our regular vendor. She can be found among many of our talented artisans on the second floor. You can also view and purchase her works on Etsy at the Creative Cliffs Store or on Facebook at Creative Cliffs. Carving creativity takes talent and time, but Marla’s mastered her skills and is ready to custom carve to your interests!