After 38 wonderful years in Craighurst, Woodside Pottery & Gallery Craighurst will be closing its doors this fall.
Even potters retire or at least fade into the sunset when they don’t fall asleep at the wheel. After 38 years in this beautiful setting with so many of you lovely visitors, whom I will miss daily, my body is telling me it is time to slow down and to make fewer pots without the stress and pressure of managing a gallery. It is therefore with mixed feelings that we will close the gallery at the end of August. Hopefully, the old schoolhouse will be reinvented as a brew pub or perhaps a sea food restaurant or a community centre to provide years of service for future generations.
Robyn who has been with me for 10 years and has contributed so much to the running of the gallery communicating with guests and artists alike will stay until the end of the summer. Cameron who is back from his technology studies for a second summer is helping me sort through, sell, move or get rid of an enormous amount of stuff.
Starting the week-end of June 23. In an effort to keep the studio stocked and to meet your need to add some pieces to your collection I will continue to take pottery orders until I can’t take any more. I will fire my kiln through the summer and as I don’t expect to have a gas kiln in the future these will likely be the last reduction fired pots I make.
We are selling a lot of pottery equipment and store display items at very reasonable prices. If you are or know an aspiring potter or a store owner in need of display please contact us or have them contact us regarding these items. The list is available on the website.
Thank you for your support over the years and I look forward to seeing you this summer.
We are housed in the 133 year old Craighurst schoolhouse located in the Horseshoe Valley area between Barrie and Orillia. This is the working studio of potter Hartley Woodside and a fine craft gallery featuring his works, other work from area artisans, pieces from across the country and some work from Uganda supporting the charity Thrive Uganda.. The Gallery also hosts periodic fine art exhibitions of regional artists.
A Little Local History
This is the third schoolhouse in Craighurst, built in 1878, when the village served as a layover between Barrie and Midland and there were three inns and several lumber mills in the area. This two room, school serving as many as 70 students, was closed in 1963 when the property was purchased by Emmanual Hahn and Elizabeth Wyn Wood; two of Canada’s best known sculptors of the period. They had hoped to work here after he retired from teaching at the Ontario College of Art but unfortunately both passed away before fulfilling that ambition. Through the for sight and generosity of their daughter the building was first leased to Leo Kamen who ran an art gallery (the first Gallery Craighurst) and studio here for several years before ultimately moving to Toronto and then to myself. I took over the building in 1980 to establish my pottery studio and showroom and after later purchasing the building I have expanded the gallery as the rediscovered Gallery Craighurst. It continues to be a beautiful space in which to learn and to work.