The Studio Tour celebrates local artisans amidst autumn landscapes


Eganville – Rainy weather didn’t stop participants from following the Maple Leaf icons that mark the route of the popular Madawaska Studio Tour on the first weekend in October. With many studios tucked away on back roads, the autumn air tour through spectacular views of brilliant foliage, distant lakes and rolling hills that drew many artisans to the area in the sixties .

Founded in the mid-90s, more than two dozen studios, many hosting guest artisans, have opened their doors to the public for a prominent look at their workspaces. Excited shoppers and leaf spectators roamed the back roads, happy to continue an autumn tradition of visiting their favorite artisans in their unique studio homes. COVID-19’s concerns canceled the 2020 tour in the fall that continued the 2021 tour in July.

“People are so eager to come out again,” said artist Kathy Haycock showing her work at her Woodland Studio at 341 Wittke Road, between Eganville and Cormac. Like his fellow artists who transform paint, fiber, fabric, wood, clay, glass and steel into unique pieces of art, he is happy to continue to engage personally with feedback from clients. For many artists, the Studio Tour is also an important marketing initiative that provides sales during the important giving period before Christmas. In recent years, many summer residents have traveled back to the Valley to participate in the Studio Tour amidst the spectacular scenery.

In Old Killaloe, ink -tying textile artist Rri Povey, who drew here two decades ago by “welcoming people” at the Killaloe Craft and Community Fair, displays his clearly dyed clothing line in his house at 8315 Brudenell Road. Her spirit of themed clothes in sixty themes attracts locals and visitors, and her colorful tee shirts have become ‘uniforms’ for staff at Bonnechere Caves and at Temperate Gardens. Inspired in part by Japanese Shibori’s folding techniques, she uses hand stitchery and complex folding to create original designs and uses Fibrereactive MX dyes that are gripped through successive washing and not fuzzy or bleeding.

She comes with as much clothing made in Ontario or Canada as possible. Baby and toddler clothes are popular and he can also create new life for a customer’s favorite shirt or dress. Hats, Ontario-made knee-high socks, baby bibs and, since COVID-19, colorful masks, are the best-selling items. The clothing line outside his studio is often decorated with newly-dyed items, adding a whimsical touch to the small enclave of houses in what was the original Killaloe settlement that had accumulated around. of the beautiful (but privately owned) red clapboard grist mill on Brennan’s Creek. Rri is open by chance or appointment throughout the year and can be reached at [email protected]

The village of Wilno is home to many longtime artists, including knife maker Grant Fraser whose studio is located next to a large fence next to the St. Louis church. Mary on Hwy. 60. Many of Grant’s custom-made knives are purchased as one-of-a-kind gifts with individually crafted handles and unique blade shapes. Each knife is encased in a handmade hammer skin “dragon skin” skin. As well as re -creating classic designs like the bowie and dagger, Grant creates exceptional kitchen knives known for balance, lightness and long -lasting edges. He makes his own patterned steel (Damascus) as well as forging knives from repurposed saw blades, bearings and engine shafts. Self-taught, Grant has been making knives for 38 years, experimenting with styles and techniques as “there is no one school of knife making.” An expert in his craft, he occasionally teaches his skills but it is his decades of experience that result in the shiny smooth irreverent blades displayed in his workshop. His studio at 17319 Hwy. 60 is open year -round by opportunity or appointment and Grant can be reached at [email protected]

Along with Church Street in Wilno, the parish’s original red brick building and its carriage house are now home to lumberjack Carl Wall and fiber artist Annie Wall. Formerly owner of the most famous Wilno Craft Gallery, the couple bought the old rectory in 2014 and after many years of renovation, renovated their current studios. A longtime woodworker, Carl puts out his tools and displays his work in the old carriage poured into the property; Here he created his popular durable wooden toys, featuring timber trucks, bulldozers and even a road grader, from local wood. Trembling horses are a popular best seller. Chess boards with personalized pieces are a collaboration between Carl and their studio tour guest Catherine Peck, also of Wilno, who uses scrolling, turning wood and intarsia techniques in his unique creations.

Long-time textile artist Annie Wall recently scaled down her Fibrefire Studio to a smaller loom but continues to weave lighter rag rags suitable for the bedroom or less. areas that have been trafficked. Her delicate shawls and scarves are displayed in the showroom in the heritage building. He is currently intrigued by experimenting with mixed media collages, using skills learned from many other artisans in the area. Both studios welcome customers by appointment throughout the year and can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

If you missed the tour you can find more information about these artists and nearly a dozen others at madawaskastudiotour.com or by picking up brochures on tourist areas. Watch the spring and fall tourist addition magazines on Eganville Leader for profiles of some of the artisans who live and work in Bonnechere and Madawaska Valley. The next studio tour will be held in July of 2022.


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