SaddleBrooke’s gift shop featured artist for October

Mark Erickson with many of his handcrafted works. Photo by Russell C. Stokes.

Mark Erickson with many of his handcrafted works. Photo by Russell C. Stokes.

Linda Whitehead and Russell C. Stokes

Our featured Artist of the Month hails from Everett, WA, the county seat of Snohomish, located about 25 miles north of Seattle. In 2002, after an in-depth search for their perfect new community and home, Mark Erickson and his wife, Lorraine, decided to retire to SaddleBrooke because of the active lifestyle here and the many opportunities to learn and create.

Mark grew up in Marysville, WA, not far from Everett and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Industrial Relations at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. Mark served seven years in the U.S. Navy as a fire control technician, first class. He embarked upon a career as an electronics technician/experimental and was employed by the Boeing Defense and Space Division.

Mark Erickson is both an award-winning woodcarver (won Best of Show at the Desert Woodcarving Show in Mesa) and a talented silversmith. Mark’s father-in-law was a woodcarver, which is how Mark became interested in the craft, and he began carving about 1993. Mark is self-taught and specializes in creating realistic birds. The wood he carves is tupelo and the finishes are acrylic paint.

Mark carves his beautiful birds in his studio/casita that he also uses for his silversmith work. He thoroughly enjoys creating his hand-carved lifelike birds, as well as the complete process of research, study, and applying his carving techniques to achieve exact realism.

Mark is the president of SaddleBrooke Woodcarvers Club and has been a member of this prestigious group since 2002. He is also an active member of the SaddleBrooke Silversmith and Lapidary Club. Mark is well known as the hardworking chair and member of the SaddleBrooke Arts and Crafts Fair, which is held here each year in early March and early November.

He joined the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop in March 2018, having become familiar with the gift shop as an extension of his work with the Arts and Crafts Fair. The gift shop serves as an additional platform to get many of his woodworking and jewelry items on display and available to the public.

Some of the things Mark enjoys most about being a member of the gift shop include meeting new people, learning and sharing while connecting with residents and their guests, as well as those who visit our beautiful area and love discovering our local artisan shop.

The SaddleBrooke gift shop is staffed by member artists who volunteer their time to help ensure the shop’s success. When looking for handcrafted gifts, clothing, books, jewelry, art works, games, or greeting cards, stop by and visit Mark and other resident artisans. The SaddleBrooke gift shop is located in SaddleBrooke One, near the clubhouse and next door to the fitness center. The SaddleBrooke Gift Shop is currently open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.