Mary Wade née Mock was born in Port Kent, NY, and moved to Essex, NY, at age two when her grandfather, Wallace “Wally” Mock, took over the Essex-Charlotte ferry. She says that Essex has always been her home and every time she visits it brings back childhood memories.
She grew up in the small hamlet, and it’s no surprise that when she began creating art that it inspired her. Wade’s Essex-inspired wooden miniatures are some of her most popular pieces.
Wooden Miniature Beginnings
I was curious as to how Mary Wade discovered her talent for woodworking and miniatures. So I asked, and Mary told me the story of how she began her woodworking and painting projects.
Years ago, while shopping Mary Wade came across a paint-by-numbers kit that came with a wooden bear. She thought it would be fun to try and soon discovered that she had a knack for it and really enjoyed it. So she continued buying the kits that came with all the supplies and painted many wooden figures. One day she and her husband were talking about how expensive the kits were, and they decided that the wooden cutouts were easy enough to make so they would buy wood and make their own. They bought a small scroll saw and Mary’s husband cut out designs for her that she would then paint and decorate.
Mary loved her projects and discovered that it was also lucrative, so before she knew it she bought a large, top-of-the-line scroll saw, sander, and other tools. Over the years she has learned how to work them all herself and can create a project from start to finish!
Mary needs a photo or image to get the design or to gain inspiration from. Then she creates the outline of the piece that will be cut out of wood. Depending on the project, sometimes there will be several pieces that will be put together, but often the wooden cutout is simply one silhouette that will be painted.
Wade’s Wood and Crafts
Mary opened her shop Wade’s Wood and Crafts in Essex over twenty years ago. The shop is open mid-June through labor day. So just what does Mary Wade create and sell?
She sometimes creates traditional paintings, but by far what she is known for are her woodworks and painted miniatures. Mary designs her own birdhouses and 3-D building models, but some are modeled after actual buildings, including many found in Essex! She also creates a kind of pop art panorama with wooden cut-outs of the front facades of Essex buildings.
Mary also paints scenes on tins and furniture; creates various Christmas ornaments; signs; and miniatures of animals (puppies are the new theme this year!) or people. One of Mary’s special projects this year has been to create a new line of little wooden hikers inspired by Champlain Area Trails (CATS).
Mary also takes commissions. Contact her for commissions at her shop or call (518) 963-4140.
Because of the 2011 floods, the shop recently moved from the house it had long been in on the Beggs Point circle into the little motel next door. Find the shop on the map below:
View Discover Essex on Lake Champlain in a larger map
Check out the gallery below for more Mary Wade woodworks, paintings, and crafts!
- 1954 LCT Ferry Brochure (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- 1957 Ferry Brochure (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Merchant Row Mansions in Essex, NY (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)