JILL AND TESSA OF A PEACE OF THE BEACH
Hi I’m Jill, the mom part of the mother-daughter team that is A Peace of the Beach. My daughter Tessa and I each play different roles in our partnership. I find I’m the creative workhorse, as I go on daily adventures down to the lakeshore to gather driftwood. The best days to gather driftwood are right after the biggest storms, which draw a new wave of pieces from Lake Ontario. Tessa’s role is more focused on the artistic and technical input regarding the quality of the tables.
It all started when Tessa was moving for university and needed a coffee table. She and I have expensive taste! She exclusively picked coffee tables that were above the price range of a student. After a day of window shopping we came to the conclusion that we could make a coffee table just as good if not better than the ones we saw from the materials in our backyard.
Since we live on Lake Ontario, we decided to make a driftwood base and ordered a glass table top. It was trickier than we thought it would be, to say the least. No two pieces of driftwood are alike, nor are they standard sizes or shapes. They are curvy, knotted, and twisted. This curvaceousness poses a constant challenge in the creation of a level, stable, functional, and beautiful table. After making the coffee table we made an entry table, and soon it became an interesting hobby. Family members and friends started commenting that our furniture was so beautiful we should start a business. Slowly our business A Peace of the Beach was formed. It's a constant work in progress.
We get attached to individual driftwood pieces and end up nicknaming each piece of furniture. Each piece takes a crazy amount of time. We pressure wash, dry, and seal everything. We are forever buying more tools and working with different products to enhance and preserve the driftwood. The team from NEXUS Design in Orono coached us with a few design ideas and building tricks.
We both learned to craft from a local artist and friend, Judy Metcalf who runs the Art Room on Lakeshore Road in Newcastle. She coached us to look at everything upside down and backwards, to remember to create negative space, and to keep in mind the colour, flow and focal point of each piece. These insights naturally transferred to our designs.
Working together we have learned to appreciate each other’s style preferences and visions, so depending the the piece we each take turns being the lead. Having different styles allows us to create a diverse range of pieces and an altogether better product.
Tessa and I knew we were on the right track when two of our tables were featured in different local magazines. We’ve recently placed a few pieces in the Nooks PORT HOPE and offer custom orders for those looking for something special. We strive to make pieces of furniture that pull at your heart too, and that you can love and use for years to come.
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