The Maker's Hand
by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
Back to Prince Edward County Events…
It seems like we spend a lot of time in Prince Edward County. Not just because that’s where my brother lives, but because it is a very interesting place to visit. The Loyalist Parkway is a beautiful route to travel, especially on a sunny fall day. Traveling through the small picturesque villages along the way add to the enjoyment of the drive. It certainly is an area that attracts fine art artists and artisans and wine makers! Everywhere you look a sign seems to appear announcing a vineyard. It is now Ontario’s newest and fastest growing wine region. Our leisurely drive took us through Brighton, Carrying Place, Wellington and Bloomfield. Finally we reached Picton where The Maker’s Hand was being held. We manoeuvred our way along the main street until we came to the Prince Edward County Community Centre. We parked our car in the crowded parking lot and walked to the community centre building. Once inside we were met by event volunteers who gladly took our admission fee of $5.00 each. From the outer room we entered the main hall where the show was being held. Our first encounter was with Florence Chik-Lau. We had visited Florence’s home during the Prince Edward County Studio and Gallery Tour. As we moved along the row of artisans, we stopped at Stacey Anderson. Stacey is a Mosaicist. The intricacy of her work is amazing. Stacey is fully involved in mosaic art, both as an artist and as an active member of the mosaic art community. At the end of the row Mark Armstrong. Mark is a glassblower we met in Wellington during the Prince Edward County Studio Tour. Mark was busy talking to customer, so just said hello and left his booth. Across from Mark’s booth was Mags Kandis. Her display of knitwear was impressive. At the time we visited her booth she was working on a “needle felted circle”.
The Moose Show…
Our next stop was at Bead Artist and Fine Art Painter, Vicki Sharp’s booth. Her display contained colourful beaded jewellery and vibrant paintings. While talking with Vicki she mentioned that she was one of the founders of The Moose Show which is held in Toronto at the Barbara Frum Atrium in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre. The show sounds very interesting and attracts a wide range of very talented artisans. The show dates this year are November 15th to the 17th. Next year the show’s name will change (too bad!) but the great talent will not. Continuing along the row we came to Margaret Ruhland’s booth. Margaret is a Textile Artist and specializes in Hemp Clothing and Bags. She also produces One-of-a-Kind Necklaces. Next to Margaret was David Lyon. David designs and produces wonderful “Wood turned” functional bowl, serving platters and decorative pieces. David brings out the best colour and texture in each of his creations. The name of his business is “From The Roots Up”. As we were leaving David’s booth, we spotted another artist we had met at the Prince Edward County Studio Tour. The artist was Jeweller Carol Burrill. She was without her sidekick and husband Rick. Her booth was full of all the terrific jewellery she creates. She was busy with customers, so we only stopped for a moment to say hello. At the end of the row was Eric Wilson’s “Pulp Culture” booth. Here was a colourful display of whimsical papier mache. One of the pieces that caught my eye was a caricature of TV Host and Reporter Rex Murphy. I asked Eric if Rex had ever seen his papier mache likeness. Eric replied that he had but Rex said something to the effect that that was what he looked like, he better hind his face, you be the Judge!
All I Want For Christmas…
We had seen her work before when we visited her shop in Bloomfield during a Prince Edward County event. It was the Santa Lady! (aka Cynthia McMillan) Cynthia’s booth was full of Santa’s, all jolly and looking for a good home. We stopped for a moment to admire the many different Santas that occupied her booth. From Cynthia we moved to a very interesting booth that featured beautifully bound handmade books. We talked to Book Binder, Tanya Deacove about her books and why they were so special. You could see the pride of workmanship in her face as she spoke with us. I told her that I would like to list her website in our article. She told us that she didn’t have and that she thought that you had to see and feel her books to really appreciate them. Judging by what I saw, I am sure she is right. Our next stop was at Thornton Fine Woodworking. I was happy to see that the owners, Beverley and Terry, were from our neighbouring town of Port Hope. The booth featured an array of elegant Wood turned birdhouses. At the booth we spoke with Beverley who told us about the birdhouses and the types of birds they attracted. Our last stopped was at show organizer, Peta Hall’s booth. Peta is a Clay Artist who creates colourful handmade porcelain. Peta’s website shows her different styles, functional or funky and fun! We had been at the show for some time, so we decide to take our leave of The Maker's Hand show. On our way out we passed Currah’s Café where people were enjoying a light lunch. We would like to have stayed to sample their food, but we were meeting friends for lunch in Picton.