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Block it out

Add a touch of class to your holiday décor with these repurposed, locally sourced works of art. 

Story By Leslie T. Snadowsky

Lowcountry Linens and Lowcountry Mercantile’s owner, Millie Burke, has launched a new product line of art blocks showcasing her popular designs transferred onto repurposed, locally sourced wood. These versatile and vibrant, one-of-a-kind curios feature holiday themes (angels, crosses, nutcracker soldiers, snowmen and wreaths) and whimsical motifs found on Burke’s hand-block-printed kitchen towels and dinner napkins (birds, bees, crabs, oysters, dogs and plants).

Burke’s artistry begins by applying her original images to the wood blocks, measuring  4” x 6” and weighing one or two pounds, and then placing layers of crushed glass and high-gloss epoxy resin across the top surfaces. After a couple of days to cure, crafty Burke then embellishes the shiny hard surfaces with more paint and gold leaf. 

“It’s a timely process and a messy one, but these art blocks are a great gift item and a nice little piece of artwork for someone who doesn’t need a big piece of art for the wall,” says Burke of her accessible collectibles compact enough to adorn bookshelves, clothing dressers, mantels, powder rooms and side tables.

Once the art blocks ($58-$68) are test-marketed at Lowcountry Mercantile in Northridge Plaza, Burke plans to sell her in-house objets d’arts to more than 400 stores around the nation. 

“I wanted to create a new product we may offer as a wholesale item in our wholesale line, but we like to try them out at our retail store here on the island first before we go that far,” Burke said of her hewn handiwork. “Calling these art blocks unique would be an understatement because you can’t get them anywhere else but in our little store here, and every one comes out differently.

“Sometimes when I create a design, it’ll carry over to our other products, which are the linens and the oyster shells,” says Burke of her oceanic patterns of anchors, corals and starfish. “We have designed quite a few blocks that complement our hand-block-printed kitchen towels and dinner napkins. They make beautiful gift sets.”

Find these unique holiday art blocks at Lowcountry Mercantile on Hilton Head Island.