Our contributors dish on the crafts and boutiques they’re loving right now.
6 Steam Mill Rd., Robbinston. 207-454-2832.
Don’t let the name fool you. Wrenovations has nothing to do with birds or home repair. Rather, it’s the 30-year-old semi-eponymous studio of stained-glass artist Mark Wren and his wife, Arlene. Wren gets his inspiration from the glass itself, letting it guide him as he creates one-of-a-kind, copper-foil leaded pieces. Okay, quite a few of the artworks are iridescent birds. “My name is Wren, give me a break — of course I make birds,” Wren says. Wait, there’s more: whimsical multi-colored fish and cats, moose and lighthouses, and shimmering green and gold Celtic triads, to name a few. But it’s the stunning abstract panels, like his commissioned red and orange flaming sunbursts, that send me flying. — Joyce Kryszak
415 Main St., Rockland. 207-594-1400.
I’ve fallen for Daughters, a one-year-old women’s second-hand clothing store impeccably curated by owner Ariel Birke, who sources from up and down the eastern seaboard. On one recent visit, I snagged a perfect crisp white shirt from indie designer Caron Callahan and a pair of vintage Levi’s that I’ve worn just about every single day since. On another, I watched a mother delight in seeing her eighth-grade daughter don a pair of high-waist acid-washed jeans and lace-up Doc Martens — just like she used to wear. Birke also offers a nice selection of handmade goods — ceramics, oils and tinctures, and delicate woven-wood bags, all crafted exclusively, as she puts it, “by the dope-ass lady makers of Maine.” — Jesse Ellison
103 Main St., Waterville. 207-200-1290.
I stumbled into Modern Underground on a recent visit to Waterville, following a stairwell down into a sprawling basement filled with mid-century furnishings, lighting fixtures, and other cool stuff — including the most extensive array of vintage stereo equipment I’ve ever seen. I told owner Brian Kallgren that I’d wanted to build a system for some time, but was worried that my noise-sensitive neighbors would limit my ability to enjoy it. He led me to a beautifully refurbished 1950s Magnavox stereo console (Kallgren replaced all the tubes himself) and set the needle down on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Listening to the rich, warm sound, I decided then and there that I had to have it. Kallgren even presented me with a few classics to jumpstart my vinyl collection: Journey’s Frontiers and Captured, Boston’s self-titled debut album, and Deep Purple’s Machine Head and Burn. As for the neighbors: so far, no complaints. — Joe Ricchio
Lisa Gent Handcrafted Jewelry
My favorite pieces of jewelry are those that become like a second skin — pieces I can wear in the ocean, in the garden, in the shower, out to dinner, and into bed. Jewelry designer Lisa Gent gets that. “I do some elaborate custom pieces for special occasions and weddings, but jewelry is most awesome if you can wear and enjoy it every day.” Gent works primarily in silver, from her home studio in Cape Elizabeth, but also uses gold, pearls, and gemstones and enjoys mixing metals. Nature is her muse. The influence is subtle and imbues all of her jewelry with an integrity that makes it appealing — naturally. – Tina Fischer