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Stinson Studios Open House

Ontario East

See how unique art is created in Ontario East.

Stinson Studios opens its doors near Tamworth this Saturday and Sunday

When is a wooden bowl more than a wooden bowl? When it becomes a piece of art.

That’s what visitors will discover this weekend when they tour Stinson Studios near Tamworth.

The family-run business started 30 years ago when Don Stinson, who studied cabinet making in college, decided to focus on wooden bowls and other wood art. But these are not mass produced objects. Each is unique, crafted by hand from start to finish. The wood comes from either small sustainably harvested family-run woodlots or reclaimed waste.  Because of the irregular shape or unique character of some the woods, they are not suitable for industrial use. Burled wood is also purchased as a waste product from a local sustainably managed woodlot.

That is when Don and his son Jesse show their talents. The pieces are shaped on a lathe designed and built by Don. And they are novel. “We turn square salad bowls on a round lathe,” says Jesse. “You can’t get any more novel than that.”

The pieces are sold both retail and wholesale in stores and galleries across North America and beyond. Jess notes that retail business is best around Christmas, “but if we didn’t do wholesale the other 10 months of the year, we’d starve.”

The Stinsons also know where to sell. “If you are looking for a salad bowl and you go to a kitchen store, you have a certain dollar figure in mind,” says Jesse. “If you go to an art gallery looking for the same thing, that price is completely different.”

They also realize that although 80 per cent of the population lives in cities, many people still want a piece of the land. “They want a piece of the wilderness for their urban environment. Having that raw, organic, natural piece in their homes gives them comfort.”

This weekend is a chance to see great products and artwork in the place where it is created. Stinson Studios at 358 Thompson Hill Road, Tamworth will be open Saturday and Sunday from noon until 4:00pm.

View map here

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