As a young female customer steps through the door of Earthbound Arts on Trade Street, Lucy Duncan looks up from her conversation and casually says, “Hey, how are you?” in the same tone of voice an old friend may greet someone, not a stranger.
Lucy Duncan and Gordon Jones have been married for the last 12 years and have owned Earthbound Arts for the last 15 years; they create most of the things they sell. She is a self-described realist, worrier and highly energetic person where she describes her husband as laid back and calm, but Duncan said that they work well together, despite the contradicting personalities.
Duncan and Jones originally owned and operated Earthbound Automotive where Jones worked as a mechanic and Duncan completed the office work. They later opened Earthbound Arts in a small shop on the corner of High Point Road and Glennhigh Road in High Point, North Carolina.
Jones and Duncan made the jump from mechanics to artistry because Duncan began to tinker with copper metal and stained glass while Jones worked on cars.
Eventually, Duncan and Jones closed the mechanic shop to begin crafting, or making handmade creations, which led them to various craft shows in North Carolina. Duncan expressed that the craft shows were exciting, but also exhausting, so the couple decided to open a shop.
In December of 1999, they set up a booth in the old Domosa building, now Intersection Gallery located on Trade Street, for the gallery monthly gallery hop. Nine months later, the couple opened their Trade Street location in September of 2000.
“People love them very much,” said Tamara Propst, store owner of The Other Half on Trade Street. “What makes their store work is that their handcrafted artistry is them.” Propst has known the couple for the last 15 years and believes that the work they create is reflective of their personalities.
“It was a lot of hard work” said Duncan on opening the store, but between them, they were able to create a store filled with handmade products and pottery for the local community.
Duncan creates the bath salts, hand soaps, herbal teas, clay beads for jewelry and cranberry jam. Duncan said that Jones is talented at throwing clay, so he is responsible for creating the honey pots, tea mugs, leaf shaped plates and other clay pieces.
Over the 15 years on Trade Street, Duncan and Jones have become a part of the Arts District neighborhood of downtown Winston-Salem and established that their work is their own.
Duncan and Jones create their artwork at home and in their studio, which are on the same property. The studio is a metal garage with no windows. “I’m not looking out my window when I do my work,” said Duncan. On the other hand, a lot of her work is also done in the kitchen of their old house, which she calls the heart of the house.
Although Duncan and Jones have a cozy home and store, running a business is also hard work. “We do not live this hunky dory life,” said Duncan.
After talking with Duncan in the heart of the store, one is quick to learn that she is straight-forward but also has a large heart for Winston-Salem and the community around her.
“I need to go from door to door to ask everyone if we can create a Winter Wonderland theme for our windows on Trade Street this season,” said Duncan in attempts to bring the Trade Street neighborhood closer together.