If you’ve missed the craft fairs and are looking for something unique for that special someone on your Christmas list, be sure to stop in at Bird on a Wire for that extraordinary find. Owner Karen Unger-Strickland has a discerning eye and her taste is impeccable. “It’s like the 100-mile diet for artists,” Karen explains. You’ll find anything from furniture art pieces to large-sized paintings to hand-knit wrist warmers to jewellery. The Main Street store has something for everyone – from small ornaments in the $10 range to a sideboard table that’s a few thousand dollars.
Karen is particularly inspired by artists undergoing change – especially those who take bad situations and turn them into good.
She showed me a collection of ornaments, beautifully carved and lovely on its own merits, produced by Tradeworks Custom Products, a social enterprise aimed at providing training and entry-level employment to women from the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona and surrounding areas.
“These are moms,” Karen tells me, “who are now able to look after themselves and their children.” On top of that, the ornaments are made from BC pine beetle wood, again turning supposedly unusable wood infected by the mountain pine beetle into something not only useful – but beautiful.
Bird on a Wire also hosts workshops and craft nights, plus artists can rent lockers to store their tools. Kids can stay occupied at a small drawing table while you shop. There’s even a quiet corner for you to nurse.