Meet Bernie Clites, the local artist and owner of Artistic Sandblasting NW, LLC.
I have been sandblasting using pressurized abrasive (not sand), cutting into rock, drilling holes for water features and high polishing rock and hard surfaces for over 20 years.
My start in sandblasting was working on mirrors, shower doors, entry doors, wine bottles, beer mugs, and deep carved painted logos for business signs, but it didn’t take long to shift my focus to rock and hard surface engraving. This was a natural progression for me, since as far back as I can remember, even as a child, I was always running around with pretty rocks in my pockets (mom wasn’t nearly as excited about my rock collecting - something about my rocks and the washing machine…).
I work on both residential and commercial projects. My construction background has introduced me to a variety of customers. I work with families, homeowners, HOA's, landscapers, architects, engineers and municipalities along with the occasional artist awarded community art projects that need sandblast engraving done. No matter if I'm working on a small rock, a new development, or a project such as the Mill Creek Veterans Memorial or the Cabela store, each project I work on is no more important than the next.
Because I have a forklift at my shop, I have the capability to move large rocks or pallets of bricks/pavers that are delivered for sandblast engraving. I also go on-site to do the jobs that are either too large or not cost-effective to move, or need to be installed before having lettering, numbers, logos or artwork sandblasted into them.
For someone who gets bored easily, over all the years of working on some very unique projects, I still find working on rock a daily challenge and amazingly gratifying, because no two projects are ever the same.
Walking into my shop every morning takes me to my “creative place.” I know whatever I will be working on that day will be a creative challenge. I never fail to be inspired by the process of working with customers to translate their vision into the timeless beauty of stone.