Artists never make the same piece twice – find inspiration on Big Pine Key

Artists never make the same piece twice – find inspiration on Big Pine Key

Bart and Diane Vinsh collaborate on some of the pieces which includes vases and urns, jewelry, doll house furniture and trinket boxes.

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Originally from South Florida, Diane and Bart Vinsh spent the past 13 years living in the mountains of North Carolina. “The newness wore off,” said Bart in his living room overlooking the canal and his boat on Big Pine Key. “We love to fish, and the things we used to catch up there would be considered bait here.”

The water soothes the artists. When they envisioned a new lifestyle, they decided the hustle and bustle of their native Ft. Lauderdale was too busy and crazy for them after Bart retired from repairing convertibles. Artwork took a priority in their lives.

“We are both very creative,” said Diane. “I can come up with an idea, and he can make it.”

The duo said married couples should find a hobby to do together because it creates so much harmony in the relationship as they bounce concepts off each other. “Collaboration is key,” he said.

The home workshop is filled with project ranging from necklaces to urns to vases to treasure boxes. Diane’s necklaces and charms incorporate natural elements like pinecones, magnolia tree seed pods and, believe it or not, wasp nests. “Each piece is one of a kind,” she said.

Bart’s boxes and vases include sea urchins, pinecones, seeds and more. “I just find things on our walks and can turn it into anything,” he said.

Nothing is reproduced, either. Each piece is a complete original. “I don’t like production,” Bart said. “I once had to recreate 110 balusters on an old staircase. The first 20 were fine, after that, it became work.”

Since the pieces are individual, they don’t have an online store. They show at Artists in Paradise gallery on Big Pine Key and recently made the decision to have a booth at The Original Marathon Seafood Festival in March after hearing how popular the weekend is with locals and tourists. They have only been in the Keys for three months, and are still working on settling into their new ways, which includes lots of fishing.

When they aren’t walking around the neighborhood looking for inspiration, they browse the potpourri aisle at Pier One. He’s also hit gold with creating doll house furniture, stating he once saw a miniature table, three inches in length, sell for as much as a high quality full sized table at $3,000.

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