Labour Day weekend studio visits offer public an opportunity to learn about what goes into works
FOR THE GAZETTE
Labour Day weekend meant three full days of art on display across the north end of Prince Edward County during the annual Rednersville Road Art Tour.
Stretching the length of County Rd. 3 from Hwy 62 to Carrying Place, the tour included 13 different locations and more than 25 different artists offering a wide variety of media and artistry.
In addition to traditional paintings created in oils, acrylics, watercolours, mixed media and pastels, the tour offered up stained glass, fabric arts such as painted silks, quilts, knitted and woven items, original clothing, hooked rugs and pillows, mosaics, woodturning and other wood crafts, pottery, prints, sculptures, baskets, whimsical wire art and even chocolate that looked almost too good to eat.
The tiniest art was made by woodturner Harvey Tremeer. Creating items for the dollhouse aficionado, he had tiny perfect bowls, complete with little apples and even cherries — with stems, no less — not much bigger than the head of a pin, as well as some larger pieces for normal use. Meanwhile, his wife, Janice, refuses to let her very restricted eyesight prevent her from being creative. She had her beautiful hand-knitted afghans and handmade crib quilts on display.
“This is the 11th year (of the art tour) and we’ve been here from the beginning,” she said.
Alecia Bye’s unusually decorated pottery was a big hit with buyers.
“It’s all hand thrown on the potter’s wheel,” she said.
What makes her work different is the way the painted designs are created.
“It’s called mocha diffusion,” she explained. “The technique dates to the 17th Century in England and Scotland. It was some of the first functional decorative ware.”
Bye said the painting is done with the item held upside down and before the clay has set.
“Once (the item) has dried just a little bit, it’s re-submerged into liquid clay, and then all the decoration goes on with a few strokes of a very large brush.”
Once dry, it is fired twice in a kiln, making the piece not just safe for food use, but even dishwasher safe — not a big selling point 400 years ago, but very popular with today’s buyers!
Artists agreed that the perfect holiday weather was a big plus in making this year’s art tour a big success, and visitors were finding many gift ideas to start their holiday shopping early. Functional items like ceramics, fabrics and mosaic garden art were popular, but paintings also found a ready market for people looking for something unique and beautiful for themselves, friends and family.
If you missed the tour, if you want to get in touch with any of the artists or visit their studios, or if you are an artist who would like to take part in next year’s event, go to www.rednersvilleroadarttour.com for more information.