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Michael Van Hout


Holly Aiken Bags and Accessories

I’ll be upfront: I carry a Holly Aiken wallet and I love it. All vinyl; bright, playful colors; simple lines — it’s a great piece. Aiken, who has a background in design, carries over these same elements into her entire line, which includes billfolds, wallets and business card holders; computer and tablet sleeves, clutches, wristlets and tote bags; and diaper bags, yoga mat totes and backpacks ($26–$197). She also takes custom orders and introduces new products and designs regularly. Available only in her shop in Raleigh (20 East Hargett Street) and Wrightsville (2035-B Eastwood Road, just before the Intracoastal Waterway bridge) and at b

Michael Van Hout’s wire sculptures look like sketches made whole in the air. With little more than channel lock pliers, vise grips and heavy wire cutters, he curves, shapes and wraps wire to create delicate sculptures that evoke familiar shapes — an owl, a sparrow, a life-sized guitar player, a bust. Van Hout discovered his artistic calling as a college dropout. “I left college. I was working on a grounds crew taking home bits of scrap wire and making myself little sculptures. It was a very folk art approach.” He did go back to school, earning a BFA in sculpture and expanding his horizons. Today, Van Hout teaches sculpture and printmaking classes at Acme Art Studios and Dreams of Wilmington, and his wire, copper and steel sculptures as well as his prints have earned him regional attention. His wire sculptures are available at Spectrum Art & Jewelry (1125 Military Cutoff Road, Suite H) and Acme Art Studios (711 North Fifth Avenue); prices range from $50–$300. Tasty Treats:

8th Wonder Spice Blend and Sea Love Sea Salt

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention food. There are so many local treats available — from butter mints to barbecue sauce — that narrowing it down is difficult, but I chose to look at seasonings. Here are a pair of locally-crafted seasonings sure to spice up your next meal. When it comes to rubs and spice blends, they’re often too salty, but 8th Wonder uses 17 ingredients to create a bold splash of flavor that’s well balanced and just salty enough. Use it on shrimp or crab in lieu of Old Bay, dust it on a roasted chicken, use it as a blackening spice or on chicken wings or to rim the glass on your Sunday brunch Bloody Mary. 8th Wonder is available at Motts Channel Seafood (120 Short Street, Wrightsville Beach), Taste The Olive (at the Forum), Temptations Everyday Gourmet (Hanover Center, 3501 Oleander Drive, Unit 13; and Porter’s Neck Center, 8207 Market Street, Unit F), Cat on a Whisk (600 North Howe Street, Southport), at Harris Teeters across the region, and too many other places to list. Try this spice blend with a $2 sample packet, an $8 tin or $23 bulk jar. With the ocean as our backyard, it’s no wonder that someone is making sea salt from our very own waters. Sea Love is a Wrightsville Beach-based company that collects and evaporates ocean water and harvests the remaining salt. Products come in at $3 for the travel tin, $9 for the standard salt, then $10–$23 for flavored salts; salt scrubs are also available for $15. You can find Sea Love Sea Salt in many regional stores, including Blue Moon Gift Shops (203 Racine Drive, Wilmington), The Seasoned Gourmet (1930 Eastwood Road), Fire & Spice (in the Cotton Exchange) and Whole Foods. For a full listing, or to buy online, visit The Art & Soul of Wilmington

May 2015 •



Profile for Salt

May Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

May Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington