Falling for the studio tour
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | September 27, 2018|
Their jewellery has been sold across Canada, at high-end retailers such as Holt Renfrew, Fabrice, KSP and the Ontario Art Gallery. And, now, they’re taking part in their 13th Haliburton County Studio Tour.
Paradigm Designs is one of 29 studios opening its doors to the public Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7. Once again, the eclectic mustdo on art lovers’ lists will feature everything from fabric to glass, jewellery, metal, mixed media, painting, pottery and woodturning. Paradigm Designs Studio offers the combined works of partners Susan Watson Ellis and Todd Jeffrey Ellis.
They opened in 1981, creating and selling handcrafted jewellery across Canada. In 2000, Paradigm’s focus switched to the craft show circuit and Susan began selling her work at the One of a Kind Shows, Craft Ontario, and the Haliburton Art and Craft Festival.
Todd, meanwhile, began studying Silversmithing in 1997 and began to receive awards for his work a few years later, starting with the best hollowware award at the Metal Arts Guild of Canada’s annual exhibition in Toronto. Both have added engraving for jewellery and metalwork to their repertoire over the last 12 years and also share their skills at the Haliburton School of Art and Design in its metal programs.
In 2005, they built their dream home and studio in Haliburton on a long-time family property on Lake Kashagawigamog. In 2006, they excitedly accepted a place on the very successful Haliburton County Studio Tour.
“The tour is an amazing way to give customers a true view into all that’s involved in the process of the art we make, from the tools and set up to the final product,” Susan told The Highlander.
“For us, it is a chance to connect with how people react to the work we love.” She added, “it is so relaxing to make sales directly from your studio as opposed to packing your work up and transporting it, displays and yourself to do out-of-town shows.”
She said Todd uses the opportunity to wear his colonial Williamsburg silversmith costume, which was his inspiration to begin his metal work and demonstrate his traditional craft for appreciative tour-goers. This year he’s also adding a little high tech offering of a monitor showing a magnified engraving demonstration to offset the historical, Susan said.
“The general public as well as art lovers get the best opportunity to view our studios when Haliburton is at its Fall finest in colour, and refreshments and demonstrations fill the air with excitement and entertainment,” Susan said.
The tour runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday of both weekends.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.