Mary and I were enjoying the second week of a month in Nova Scotia and leisurely touring west to east along the Lighthouse Route. We had used the quaint cable ferry at LeHave and were looking for our night’s landing. We needed to look no further than the town of Mahone Bay.
We loved this place and stayed for several days. We spent our first morning lingering over a second cup of coffee at Jo-Ann’s Deli Market & Bake Shop. (Look for the funky doors and a bag of carrots used as a counterweight to keep them closed.) Mary went poking her nose into the shops and returned with news that she had found some interesting frames and curio cabinets. I went to look and agreed that we needed to find Michael Ernst who had created these items.
John, at The Manse, helped out by giving us general directions. We set off on our borrowed bikes for a delightful trip around the bay. Our search led us to Silverwood, which was Michael’s little corner of the world on a small cove just across the bay. Michael also gives sailing instructions so we waited until he was available to introduce ourselves. Michael welcomed us with his brand of Nova Scotia hospitality. We toured his home and small studio. We met his cat, Hywel, and sipped a cup of coffee. Michael explained his niche for building functional items from all sorts of found objects. The projects shown in our studio are made from lathing and odd hardware out of old home places.
In Michael’s shop we found a short saw, a tack hammer, and a wood rasp. He said, “Using simple tools keeps the objects simple and pure in form.”