Studio Tour invites guest artists and visitors to the county

By Sue Tiffin

Carloads of people driving along scenic routes alongside trees bright and full with colourful leaves slowed as they approached Studio Tour signs dotted along the landscape throughout the county last weekend. The signs each marked with a different letter led people on a self-guided tour to 25 studios and showrooms of local artists and craftspeople and their guests on the first weekend – Oct. 5 and 6 – of the 32nd annual tour.

Pat and Lowell Edwards from Webster New York were visiting Larry and Margaret Giles from Algonquin Highlands and said they thought it would be the perfect time to visit their friends and also take in the changing of the leaves. Three years ago they visited during the Highlands East Studio Tour time.

They were at Blackbird Pottery at 5843 Gelert Road Studio Q on the Studio Tour map taking in the work of potter April Gates and her guest textile artist Gayle McIvor of Earth Elf Designs on the first day of the weekend.

Gates said the tour was off to a great start and was thankful for a sunny day. She said having McIvor  her friend join her as a guest in the studio was a treat.

“It’s kind of a celebration of what we both do and to have that experience together is nice” she said noting their work was fitting well together: “I’ve exploded into colour this past year and I’m just finding the pairing of the two things is working really nicely.”

McIvor said the positive feedback she’d been getting during the day was welcomed as she was getting back into her work with handcrafted upcycled textiles and being able to share a studio space was helpful.

“The momentum getting to today too is so awesome” she said. “Just having that opportunity to dive back in in an intensive way has just been super-rewarding.”

A walk down a short peaceful path leads to Studio E on this year’s Studio Tour the studio of Jane Selbie at 87 Bayshore Road in Haliburton.

After walking into the studio Anne Steinman from Waterloo greeted Selbie with praise.

“We’ve been coming for years and really enjoy looking at her work” said Steinman who said she owns one of Selbie’s pieces. “We always like to see what’s new.”

Selbie has been on the Studio Tour 19 years and acknowledged her work has changed and evolved. Like Gates she said this year’s Studio Tour has had a successful beginning.

“People were here early and the first sale was early which is a good omen” laughed Selbie.

The 32nd annual Studio Tour continues on the weekend of Oct. 12 and 13. To learn more about the Studio Tour or to download a self-guided tour map visit