The owners of a new gallery in Roxburgh’s main street exude an obvious pride in their decision to follow their hearts in their new location and new venture.
Gordon Still said he and partner Janet Podham moved to the town about three years ago.
‘‘We came with no plans and no expectations and decided we’d do whatever we want to do,’’ he said.
They would sit at 103 The Store cafe on the main thoroughfare of Roxburgh and watch people who had stopped for a break in Scotland St, where State Highway 8 passes through the town.
‘‘They would walk up and down looking for somewhere to spend their money,’’ Mr Still said.
Though not a collector, he had always had an interest in West German midcentury pottery and the couple decided to open a gallery and collectibles store, he said.
The result, Forfar Road Gallery and Collectibles, opened to an enthusiastic reception of local business owners and contributing artists on February 4 and to the public the following day.
Neither of them were artists or had gallery experience but thought it would ‘‘be great to show off the local artists and crafts people’’, Mr Still said.
As well as the collectibles, the gallery houses quirky teapots from Millers Flat ceramic artist Marion Mewburn, paintings from Roxburgh artists Dorothy Piper and Sheena Lassen and Clyde artist Maxine Williams and intricate woodwork pieces from Murray Sheppard, of Cromwell, that tempt the viewers to stroke them.
There is also a collection of smooth walking sticks by Gary Griffith that have natural spiral ridges formed by supplejack vines that wrap around and constrain the branches of the rangiora bush.
It was ‘‘a bit of a shock’’ when the first piece sold on opening night and he realised it would have to leave the display, Mr Still said.
The reaction to the store had been extremely positive, with complimentary feedback and lots of sales, he said.
Ms Podham said they had no regrets about their decision to open the gallery as ‘‘the regret would be not doing it’’.
‘‘You can’t just wait for Covid to do its thing.
‘‘You have to get on with life.’’