One of the best things about the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition? The shopping! Among the vendors exhibiting their wares from February 12 to 14 are folks you know: Matt Wilson with his Airtight Artwork metal sculptures, ”wire taxidermy” artist Alison Brynn Ross, and Landrum Tables furniture maker Capers Cauthen.
Yet you’re also likely to discover companies you’ve never heard of—Carolina Custom Canoe Paddles, for example. Perhaps it has flown under the radar because it’s owned by Walterboro collision-center technician James Herndon, who’s hardly the type to send out press releases or host pop-ups in downtown hot spots. Instead, he quietly creates artful canoe and paddleboard paddles from soft and exotic woods sourced from primarily Lowcountry suppliers. He sells them at some 20 events a year throughout the Southeast, with SEWE being locals’ best opportunity to peruse the goods. “About 90 percent of people buy them as artwork, but they’re made to be used,” says Herndon, who’ll have his latest works on display in the Gaillard Center.