Virden chiropractor Dr. Ken Marshall along with his wife Catherine are artisans in their spare time. Along with creating fine art in their studio, located in the same building as Marshall Chiropractic office, this past summer they travelled to major craft sales including Northern Lights Festival in Big River, Sask. and an event at Lac Du Bonnet.
Over a year ago, while their office was located in a century-old two-story brick building on Wellington Street, the windowed veranda displayed rustic-framed pencil art, and other crafts including floral arrangements and pottery.
In the new office there are a few hints of the art that goes on in the back of the building, after hours.
“It’s wonderful,” said Cathy of the large crafting space in the rear of the building, where a pottery wheel is set up for Ken’s craft along with their other art work.
“The two offices back here – Ken does his matting and framing in here. He frames all his own work,” explains Catherine.
She also produces stained glass art. “My stained glass, I usually bead the top of it. This is all my beading stuff,” she guides a tour of her own space.
The very back room is set up for Catherine. She does bead work on some of Ken’s sculpted small items, such as the feathers or bells that he makes.
She demonstrates how she uses a piece of steel rail as an anvil to shape wire. There is a history to this chunk of steel and the technique passed down from her father.
“My dad always had a piece of a rail on his work bench; and as a kid, I remember going to sleep with the sound,” she strikes the steel with a tiny hammer (tap, tap, tap).
“It’s a really a unique little sound,” she adds.
Her mother had been a ceramics teacher. About nine years ago, around the time the couple was married, Catherine wanted to get back into working with clay. It also grabbed Ken’s interest.
“It’s her fault. She wanted to take a pottery class to see what it was like,” he smiled.
She studied at the Art Gallery in Brandon; this was not Catherine’s first set of lessons, but she was getting back into it.
She looked at Ken.
“He just took to it like …,” she snaps her fingers.
Pretty soon Marshall was asking his wife which kiln she thought he should get, and then his glazed pottery pieces were added to their crafted creations.
Smaller sculpted pieces and beading are transportable, great projects for crafting in public.
“When we do a craft sale, we like to sit and make things. That’s the artisan thing. That’s what I like to see when I go to a craft sale,” says Catherine.
As well as pottery, drawing and painting, Ken Marshall is a luthier. He created the full-sized stand-up bass that was used several years ago in Virden Chorale’s musical, Crazy For You – the main prop in one scene. He currently plays a handmade mandolin, also his own work.
Catherine is a gifted country folk singer, accompanying herself on the guitar. The couple enjoy participating in local music jams.