About Peter Murfitt’s Coastal Art in Florida
Meet Peter, and his magical art…
About Peter’s home made gifts
a line of unique and magical handmade products
All of my life I have been active in the creative community. While still living in Rochester, NY, our family ran a large jewelry, art and antique store, that catered mostly to customers from New York City. I was always intrigued by handcrafted detail work.
When I retired I always wanted to do something special my creative instincts. I just didn’t know what to make to get started, or in which direction I wanted to go.
Venice, Florida, my home
I decided to move from the cold and snowy upstate New York region to the beautiful small historic town of Venice, located on the Florida west coast, on the Gulf of Mexico and about 15 miles south of the much larger city of Sarasota Florida. Besides the warmer weather during the winter months, there were many other reasons why I chose to live where I live.
About Venice, Florida
I’ve preferred small town living over big city life. There is a reason why Venice, FL is nicknamed the gem of the Gulf Coast. The reason I chose Venice, isn’t something that you might notice right upfront. It supports a very large arts community and the city organizes numerous events throughout the year to promote and support the artists in the area.
The beach has always been like a big magnet to me. I love shelling and looking for sharks teeth. It is amazing what you can find after a good storm, after the bigger waves have deposited the larger and more interesting shells, sand dollars, starfish and other goodies from the sea. Venice has miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, so plenty of territory to cover. It was a hobby and a way to get excursive for me to go walk the beaches almost every day. I started building up a very large inventory of treasures washed ashore, but didn’t really have any concrete plans of what to do with this.
These shells turned out to be my art supply and are what made my creations more unique as there aren’t two alike in nature either.
What originally began as my own original hand-made Christmas gift giving idea in the early 2000’s, was received with such an overwhelming positive response, that I decided to turn my passion and hobby into a creative business endeavor, that continues to flourish to this day.
My own studio!
For more than a decade I used my garage, living room, backyard, and whatever other space or room I had left in my small 1500 sf house, as a studio, a show room, a storage place and a back drop for product photography. Or let me put it this way, the materials, tools, and products were literally all over my house, but I managed until I literally ran out of space.
In keeping up with my growing success, in 2014 I had a small studio built onto my home, that served as a showroom as well. This way, local visitors and out of state tourists were finally able to make an appointment to come to my studio to see the trees and wreaths in person and to purchase. And just like online or over the phone, could discuss their wishes for any custom sized and decorated tree.
A new website
Even before having a studio added to my home, I already had an online website that didn’t produce any results whatsoever, whether online or offline. Luckily, after having put an ad in a famous Gulf Coast magazine called Gulf Coast Living in Venice, FL, I was referred to my current web designer, who worked hard to redesign my website and add the entire e-commerce shopping feature to it as well.
Pictures tell a thousand words… not in my case!
Regarding any of the current product photos on this website, I can honestly say that none of them do the actual creations any justice. Sparkle and light is so hard to capture on camera, but I do feel there is room for improvement. Expect a much better presented and photographed line of product pictures around early 2018, that will replace most or all of the current photographs of my products.
To get a true feel for my magically decorated trees, please come visit me at one of my shows. Or if you are in the neighborhood, call me at 941-468-6992 to set up a time to come to my studio/showroom.
View pre-lit & pre-decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, and table centerpieces in person
When I am not creating, I do juried arts and craft shows around the state of Florida. Over the past several years I have received top awards at competitions for my one of a kind, numbered(!) creations.
No two are alike
My Award Winning Pre-Decorated Christmas Trees, as well as any of my evergreen decorated wreaths, wall hangings, table centerpieces or front door decor, they are as individual, unique, and one-of-a-kind as any other type of hand-crafted work of art! No two Christmas Trees are exactly the same and at your request can even be personalized to match your home’s decor.
When buying in pairs
The natural elements of my decorations and ornaments are self foraged, gathered by me, the artist Peter Muffit. When you purchase two wreaths or two christmas trees, please leave a comment at checkout to let me know whether they meant to be a pair, or not. To be used in one single location together. I will make them match beautifully. For example, if the wreath you chose has a bow on the left side, I will make the second wreath of this pair with a bow on the right side. Sort of a mirrored design.
Over the past 8 years my customers have requested many original designs.
A few of my best creations have been the result of the requests from customers.
Some of my own tree themes originated as a request from customers, such as the wine cork tree, the first one was created from the customer’s own wine corks. Another client once brought a collection of photos of their grandchildren and I designed a tree using the photos. Yet another client brought her deceased mother’s small Christmas ornaments and I was able to incorporate these into a very meaningful tree.
Each creation is numbered and signed by the artist.
The products on this website are for sale or to be used as inspiration to show you the possibilities that I’m able to accomplish for you.
Pre-decorated trees – not just for Christmas!
These pre-lit and pre-decorated high quality artificial evergreen trees look good any time! Not only during the Holiday season. They add such warmth, style, interest and charm to your home all year long!
About the process of creating decorated trees, wreaths and swags
How are they made?
For each tree, each shell flower, each Florida beach ornament, Peter spends hours combing the local beaches in Venice, FL. Summers in Florida are very hot and makes finding shells that much harder, but Peter loves doing it. It is his passion to create using the gifts of mother nature.
After a long day of shell and sea creature hunting, never killing any animals ever, Peter rinses his bounty and washes it gently and carefully, in order not to break the very delicate shells, that make such beautiful flowers.
All the freshly washed shells, sand dollars and starfish are then laid out to dry outside, in the hot hot sun. Along with the rinsing and washing, this will remove any fishy odor left behind by its former resident.
Afterwards, every single shell needs to categorized and organized by type, size and color.
Hours and hours go into making these special Magnolia, Lily, and other shell-flowers. One shell for each flower petal, forming a real flower in the end. It takes an immense amount of time, patience and skill! Yet, his art is prices so reasonable.
The 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Awards
Hundreds of one-of-a-kind small businesses, from towns and cities across the country, creating handcrafted products – got inspired to enter the 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice competition and Peter Murfitt is one of them.
Each year, Martha and the editors at Martha Stewart Living honor makers, small-business owners, and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style. These makers are recognized for their dedication to creating beautiful, quality products and building successful business and communities.
In addition to the Martha Stewart American Made honorees selected by our editors, one Audience Choice Winner will be chosen by our audience.