ROUSES POINT - In a process that takes just minutes, Jim Gadue can capture the spirit of the North Country onto a mug, T-shirt or magnet.
Jim, a graduate of the Hallmark Institute of Photography, has been following in his father's footsteps all his life.
"My father was a photographer all while I was growing up and that got me interested in becoming a photographer," Jim explained.
In 2001, his father, Richard, went on a tour of Washington, D.C., and saw some mugs that captured images from the nation's capital at a local corner store.
"That impressed me," he recalled.
Richard realized he should take some of his own photos and try to create his own mugs.
"It was in my mind. All those mugs," Richard said. "I had all these pictures that I wasn't using anymore. So, I said, 'I wonder if I could put my pictures on mugs.'"
As a resident of Swanton, Vt., Richard knew he wanted to capture the Vermont side of the lake, selling numerous mugs, which he continues to do today.
Four years ago, however, Jim decided to create his own business by putting his photographs on mugs.
Today, Jim and his wife, Donna, own Beechwood Dreams, and produce numerous mugs for fundraising, business promotions, weddings and for personal interests.
"I did a whole bunch of [mugs] for the Quadricentennial," Jim explained. "Then, a few months ago, they opened up Fort Montgomery and I did some Fort Montgomery mugs."
Jim also sells his mugs at the annual arts and craft show at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
The process to create the mugs, Jim explained, is called sublimation. He simply takes a photo, prints it on special paper and wraps it around the mug. From there it goes into a special machine which heats the picture against the mug for four minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
"There's a special coating on the mug that absorbs the image and it becomes apart of [the mug]," he said. "You can't take these image off."
About a year ago, Jim decided to take the sublimation process a step further by producing T-shirts and magnets.
He has created many of the images for the T-shirts and magnets from what he has used on the mugs. Some of these include images he produced of the famous "Champ" of Lake Champlain.
Jim created an image based off the 1880s woodcut by B. Tobin, which originally appeared in the Swanton Courier. He added the image to a picture he took of Lake Champlain, but some people found the image to be too "scary."
So, now Jim has two images of Champ, the original and a more "friendly" looking lake monster.
Jim's keepsake can be found at Meyer's Drug in Plattsburgh, Cornerstone Pharmacy in Rouses Point, and L & M Convenience Store in Mooers.
"We also do custom work," added Donna. "If someone wants a picture of their dog or whatever, Jim's done a lot of that."
If interested in having a mug, T-shirt or magnet created by Jim, contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 297-4457.