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Welcoming art home

Artist Penny Martyn opens home art studio to public every Thursday



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Martyn also fashions custom made candlesticks, stacking colours and ceramic shapes, including the face of your dog, into an ornate column. She sculpts bone-shaped baking trays that are packaged with ingredients and a recipe for a doggie birthday cake.

“They make wonderful memories,” she said of her personalized dog artworks.

Martyn’s daily living ceramics range anywhere from a $50 dog dish to a $200 five-piece salad bowl set and recipe.

Our tour moves from the shelving showcase to Martyn’s large working tables. Our interview interrupted work on her small, framed murals currently being pieced together.

Martyn designs custom ceramic tile murals for homes. While some people buy 900 handmade tiles to create a floor-to-ceiling mural, she also produces small, framed mosaics that look good hanging in any home. One of the ceramic “paintings” illustrates her famous leaf design usually found in entranceways, including the entrance to the Adele Campbell Gallery at the Hilton.

“They always have people coming in and saying they love the floor so much, they want to take it home — now they can,” she said.

Martyn’s imagination and joy for art knows no bounds.

In the corner of the studio, wire netting awaiting a foam clay finish is fashioned into the shape of a bear, another one of Martyn’s custom works. She participated in the Lions’ Spirit Bear fundraising program, transforming a plain white bear sculpture into one of the centrepieces at the Roundhouse on Whistler Mountain. The bear, dubbed Ursus Intrawestus , is the “canvas” for a winter scene of Whistler Mountain and the village. Martyn began crafting smaller bears, and now she can’t keep up with custom orders.

One of her studio paintings will also be used for an Easter Seal Christmas card this year. She is designing clay snowflake tree decorations for the Spirit of Winter artist showcase at the Adele Campbell Art Gallery. And she paints Whistler scenes into display bowls shipped to all corners of the world.

Martyn’s love of the arts has also expressed itself in custom-guided tours with the Whistler Arts Council’s ArtWalk program. Martyn leads the two-hour tour, browsing Whistler’s art galleries and public art displays.

Garlick Mountain Tile and Ceramics Studio is open every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Asymmetry House, located at 9459 Emerald Drive.

In addition to Martyn’s studio location, select artworks can be found at Skitch in Whistler Village and the Adele Campbell Gallery.