Secret to Jimmy's Sticks n Stones lies on the beach
Arklow man Jimmy Myler has turned his hobby into a business. Sticks n Stones by Jimmy started just two years ago when demand increased for Jimmy's handcrafted ornaments made from driftwood washed up on local beaches.
'I always collected driftwood along the beaches for years and, about two years ago, I decided to start taking orders. I have a garden full of stuff that I have made over the years. I love the natural look and shape of the wood so it doesn't take much to prepare it. When I am collecting it, I look for pieces that are freestanding,' Jimmy explained.
'It appeals to some people but not to others. Some people can't see past the fact that it is wood collected on a beach but that appeals to me. Any additional timber I use is upcycled so everything is environmentally friendly.'
The bigger the piece of driftwood, the longer it takes to dry out and some pieces can take months to dry in order to be ready for Jimmy to work on them.
'I have a large piece at home that still isn't dry after six months. Other pieces can be windblown if up the rocks so are practically ready when I find them,' he said.
Fairy doors have become a popular phenomenon with children in recent months and Jimmy's own version is in big demand locally. The doors are a foot high and surrounded by driftwood and can even be made to magically glow in the dark and include a sea shell tooth cup for those who want to leave a tooth for the fairy.
'The kids love them. I put one on the tree in Churchview where I live and people really liked it. I also put a sea serpent in the green area. It just needed something different.'
For Jimmy, creating his works of art is the perfect way to relax but, considering his roles as a Youth Development Officer at The Vault, Arklow Sea Scouts leader and member of Arklow RNLI, it is surprising that he has any spare time at all.
'I love to be busy. I can't understand how anyone could sit down for hours in front of the television. I can spend hours in my shed working on pieces. It is a great way to unwind I think and completely relaxing,' he said.
For further information find Sticks n Stones by Jimmy on Facebook or visit the regular Bridgewater Centre Craft Fair where Jimmy displays his work.