New store: Opal Stackhouse

By Columbus Alive
From the February 9, 2012 edition

Yes, those are UFOs made from aluminum foil pie pans that dangle in the window of this new gallery/ retail store/ design showroom on Parsons Avenue. The eyes do not deceive. Opal Stackhouse is here.

“It’s such a small space,” said owner Ashley Puckett. “It’s amazing how much time it took to put it together.”

Opal Stackhouse is the front quarter of the arts workspace Puckett shares with her creative partners Craig Dransfield and Scott Williams. Dransfield and Puckett opened Chop Chop, the name for their studio, six years ago in the space.

The group debuted some of its retail items at the Short North’s Fall Flea — under the name Opal’s at the time — and officially opened the brick and mortar location late last month.

One stop in the space and shoppers will find that Opal Stackhouse was worth the wait.

The showroom has plenty of random curiosities for sale. Vintage medicine glasses, old pencil sharpeners, succulents growing in repurposed concrete blocks, animal masks, checks from a 1915-era hardware shop, papier-mache chicken wings, $10 screenprinted T-shirts (seriously, $10). Nearly all the items are things the team has found, made or repurposed.

A range of unique art is for sale, too. A standout currently in the space is a rolling kitchen island by local Aaron Klamut made from repurposed and restored materials ($975). The piece was inspired by a drawer he found by the recycling bins outside Goodale Park.

Puckett, Dransfield and Williams have done design work for businesses around town, like the bathroom mural and tables at Angry Baker and the new window art at Knead. They’ll frequently apply their creative touch to the new store.

“I want to make it worth people’s time to come over here,” Puckett said. “We want to inspire people to make things and see how many stories old things tell.”

Plus, at Opal Stackhouse there’s an ornately framed painting Puckett’s mom found at a flea market of what may or may not be a religious figure who looks suspiciously like Larry David ($65).

Quirks like that are what Puckett hopes will have customers and artists landing here over and over again.