Basic Spirit studio creates delightful and functional objects from pewter. Tiny nativity sets, measuring spoons, wood cutting boards. All hand crafted with love and a desire to touch the heart and inspire the spirit. Founding duo; John and Bonnie have deep roots designing pewter. They forged a business that emphasizes excellence in craft and philanthropy.
This homegrown studio rests in a small, seaside village in Nova Scotia, Canada. Pugwash, (no pugs washed here!) on the north shore, has a heritage of pewter smithing and peace. The natural beauty of the ocean and surrounding areas plays a part. Employing over 25 artisans, the natural ebb and flow of the tides inspire the crafts created.
Pugwash is famous as the birthplace of the Pugwash Movement. Its reputation for peace stems from conferences on Science & World affairs. Held at The Thinkers Lodge National Historic Site, it received The Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. The Pugwash Conferences hosts scholars and public figures. They work towards reducing the danger of armed conflict worldwide. Founded in 1957 by Joseph Rotblat, a pioneer in nuclear arms reduction and Bertrand Russell. Pugwash; the perfect place for a studio and the birthplace of inspired art. Basic Spirit studio believes in peace and a flourishing life for all. 10% of profits are donated to charitable projects and conservation.
John & Bonnie Owners of Basic Spirit
John Caraberis and Bonnie Bond have designed and crafted metal over 30 years. John & Bonnie founded a three person jewelry studio in a farm house. This was on Rabbittown Road in Pugwash. Switching to pewter, they expanded to tabletop accessories and picture frames. This was Seagull Pewter, begun in 1978. The company grew to 300 plus employees, exporting worldwide.
Wishing for a more personal touch, John and Bonnie left the company to start a small studio. They work in a studio by the harbor and opened a gift shop in 2003. Business has been good; they employ several artisans and the gift shop is busy. The shop won an award from the Central Nova Tourist Association. A building they own near their studio became the shop.
"Our Giving" Nature Protection
One of the most important things to John & Bonnie is nature and it's protection. Donors and volunteers of the Nature Conservancy of Canada since 1990. At that time, they decided to give back to the community and the world. They helped establish the Pugwash Estuary Nature Preserve. It's 1,200 acres of forest surrounding an undeveloped tidal estuary. Habitat for many migratory and shorebirds plus a walking trail. John feels nature fuels his spirit and makes him feel connected. Both he and Bonnie support this effort to keep wild spaces wild.
John is a member of NCC's Atlantic Regional Board of Directors. In 2018, they matched donations through a Giving Tuesday event sponsored by their studio. They are working with the NCC's Landmark Campaign. This campaign aims to accelerate conservation across Canada. John & Bonnie invite everyone, in all countries, to do what they can for nature. It will be the legacy we leave behind.
Using Pewter to Produce Jewelry
Basic Spirit, Canada uses pewter to produce jewelry, kitchenware and more.
So, what IS pewter?
Pewter has been used for centuries, first by the Egyptians and the Romans. And during the Middle Ages because it's versatile and durable. Today, it is one of the most valuable metals in use. Modern day pewter is metal alloy of at least 90% tin and smaller amounts of other metals. The pewter Basic Spirit uses exceeds the standard of 92% pure tin.
Polished to high shine or buffed to a satin finish; it does not tarnish.
Like gold and platinum, pewter does not tarnish, like silver or copper do. As pewter ages, it takes on a soft, even patina. Many people prefer this mellow color more than the look of new pewter.
In the making of Basic Spirit pewter jewelry a model is first sculpted. A mold, based on the original model, will hold molten pewter. After removing, the object, when cooled, receives buffing and finishing.
Uses of Pewter
Pewter, one of the oldest metal alloys, first appeared in the 11th century. Used first for church vessels and then cauldrons for cooking over open fireplaces.
Over the ages, pewter served for many household Items. Utensils, dinnerware, trays, goblets, steins, and serving pieces were common.
Many decorative items use pewter. Candlesticks, vases, dinner, napkin ring, picture frames and desk accessories.
Basic Spirit, Inc.
Basic Spirit Canada makes items both whimsical and functional. For instance, their Basic Spirit magnet sets encompass many themes. A trio of sweet angels, shells and starfish, beautiful birds or yoga poses. For your baking needs, how about Basic Spirit measuring spoons? With mermaid, bird or music note handles. They create serving boards in Nova Scotia Yellow Birch accented with pewter. The Salmon board, Wine Bottle board and Musical boards are all popular. The Guitar board is a great favorite.
Basic Spirit Nativity sets, include Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus in his crib. The three Wise Men, Shepard, Sheep and resting Ox. Creche and Guardian Angel complete the set.
Perfect wedding or housewarming gifts include salad and pie or cake servers. Accented with birds, pineapples or inlaid sea glass they make a statement! And who doesn't need an ice cream scoop, with crown, engraved "Ice Cream Queen"? Or one that says "Here's the Scoop"?
For wine lovers, their array of bottle stoppers is amazing! Topped with sail boats, lobsters, musical notes, birds and more. The favorite? The quote "When in Doubt add more Wine".
Bottle openers include hammer, wrench, golf bag and piano key board.
Coffee scoops might sport the quote "Everything is possible with enough coffee". And tea strainers show dragonflies, birds or seashells.
Key chains come in cute little boxes with a pewter image on the lid. You can choose among a myriad of quotes such as; "Do Small things with great Love". Or "Shine like the Universe is Yours".
And the most popular item form Basic Spirit is their collection of coins. Dozens of fun images on one side with an inspiring word on the other. The moon & stars with "Love You to the Moon". A goofy frog backed with "Smile". Aladdin's Lamp and "3 Wishes". Or a butterfly with "Spread your Wings".
Basic Spirit design and create products that touch the heart and delight the spirit. From heart-shaped "charm bowls" to moose topped s & p shakers to adorable boxes holding a sweet pendant. Inspiring art that supports many good causes.
10% of their profits are allocated to giving projects.