Ester McShred…

Not everyone you meet in Merino is actually from here.

Merino is a small sheep farming community that is nestled between lush farmland on one side and pounding ocean on the other… ‘Think a Salt Spring Island sheep farm.’ Like most coastal communities, the population fluctuates depending on the season. Winters are quiet and wonderfully personable with mostly locals, but once the weather warms up the summer swell begins. You see, Merino is known for its amazing surf. It’s quite common to encounter 50′ waves, and the surfing enthusiasts flock here in droves! It can get so bad that some of the locals pack up and leave town for the summer.

beach hut color

But for those who stay, people-watching is at it’s best!

Case in point: Ester McShred! That’s not his real name I’m sure, but I haven’t been brave enough to look directly at him, let alone ask him his name. “Ester” showed up about a month ago, just as the big waves started to roll in and he has been hanging around the surf shack ever since. I don’t know where he came from or what he does but I think it is safe to say that he likes to work out. I want to say “prison yard gym” but that may get me into trouble! This guy has muscles upon his muscles!


His swimming trunks come across as being rather “European” looking don’t you think?




You have to admit  “McShred” does seem to fit!


Now those ears, facial hair, and beads have got me curious to say the least.

I’m sure “Ester” will be around for a few more months, so his story will undoubtedly unfold. Especially if you visit the local pub, that’s where all the best gossip comes from around here… Happy surfing!


Ester McShred is a needle felted art doll that stands 9.5″ tall and has a repurposed, silver-plated candlestick holder base. He is made from Merino wool batting and roving. When not surfing in Merino, he resides with me in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Inquiries are welcome.



  1. You are terrific ! If you ever want to start teaching let me know. I’ll make the trip from Creston BC.
    Lisa Horgan…maker of Brochacho and the girls.


    • Thank you Lisa, that is very kind of you to say. I have taught art doll classes in the past through the University here but have nothing in mind for the immediate future. I will keep in touch though. BTW I am originally from Nelson.


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