In this eighth issue we celebrate the spirit of Whidbey islanders. As it turns out (an accident of geography? the laws of attraction?) our friends and neighbors are endowed with an array of skills, an abundance of talent, and an excess of imagination in extraordinary quantities.
Among Whidbey’s most creative and not-afraid-to-show-it folks are our island’s actors. But who works tirelessly behind the scenes to design and make the costumes that grace our stages? You’re invited backstage with three costume designers for a look at what inspires them and how they work their magic.
While most of us feel gratitude for the productivity of our lands and waters, some islanders feel it on a daily basis as they pick, pluck, scoop, dig, and snip delicacies from the natural world. Meet the foragers who seek out the bounty offered by nature. The many varieties of edibles on and around Whidbey will surprise you, and the perspective offered by these foragers will remain with you.
Whether or not the slow and deliberate practice of basket making has anything to do with our preference for “island time” is hard to know. While some local artists have innovated using basketry techniques—achieving national recognition—others practice this ancient craft in a solitary way using traditional materials. The diversity and range of their work might start you on your own journey—as a creator or a collector.
In the cultivated landscape, is there anything more pleasing than rolling hills covered by rows of grape vines? The sight evokes a feeling of satisfaction, of tradition, of “all’s right with the world.” But what are the challenges and rewards of growing grapes and turning them into wine here in our Pacific Northwest climate? Three local winemakers—farmer vintners—share their stories of putting down roots in the soil of Whidbey Island.
The eye of the photographer is trained to see what other eyes might miss. In our photo essay entitled “Second Sight,” four of our island photographers visited the local recycling center to shoot, up close and personal, an array of discarded objects. These images are entrancing—and certain to have you free associating.
“Artisan manufacturers” is an apt way to describe several of Whidbey’s entrepreneurs who produce durable goods in small quantities. These makers supply customers both on and off island with products ranging from rolling pins to shoes, from clay cookware to all things metal. Inspired by the quality and individuality of home-grown items, two of these makers have opened a store that features products made on the island. Learn about manufacturing, Whidbey-style.
Vintage trailers, symbols of a nomadic way of life, have ardent fans here on Whidbey. These vintage trailer restorers exercise their engineering and decorating skills while preserving a heritage that honors the great outdoors. Their color schemes and vintage themes will amuse and delight you…and perhaps make you long for your own little house on wheels.
Whether you live on the island or love it from a distance, you can continue meeting the people, seeing the places, and learning about the products that make Whidbey wonderful.
Editor-in-Chief, Whidbey Life Magazine
Operations Manager, Whidbey Life Media