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Cool places close to the farmette

Wet is the watchword today. We got 18.5 millimetres of rain over night, and it's still dripping from the sky today. That's okay. Lots to do inside the farmette house to get ready for the colder weather. We've been doing quite a bit of touring around Grey County recently, so I thought I'd do a little piece about a couple of the places we've visited. The studio tour my friend Jane and I took two weeks ago was quite eye-opening in terms of the talented crafts people who are tucked away in the nooks and crannies of our villages and concession roads.

Take Richard Mund. He has a pottery studio on the bend of the main street in Neustadt - 464 Jacob Street to be precise - where he makes and sells the freshest, happiest bowls, carafes, knobs, vinegar containers, egg cups, vases and anything else you can make out of clay.

His show room is down the back, around the corner and into the basement of his house, which is perched on the shore of Meux Creek. He has about four signs to guide interested visitors - and the climb down is definitely worth it.

The designs are so whimsical and fun that I could not resist - just had to buy a relish dish that wound up containing the scrumptious cranberries I made for Thanksgiving. Nice, eh?

Then, there's Larry Cluchey, who lives on a sideroad off a concession road in the countryside between Ayton and Neustadt. He does beautiful woodwork in a shop on the property where he lives in a converted stone schoolhouse.

Larry's been turning out gorgeous pieces - bowls, cutting boards, bird feeders and honey dippers for more than 20 years.

He has a mischievous sense of humour, and when I saw his sign for the spurtle - a Scottish utensil used to stir porridge - I had to take a photo for Rob. One of his (and his father's) favourite expressions was right there in green.

Here, too, I opened my wallet for a gorgeous earring toadstool that resides on the top of my chest of drawers.

Now, I can actually find the earrings I want to wear without scrabbling through the jewelry box. The toadstool is made of 'spalted' maple that has interesting black lines running through it which, Larry explained, is a result of fungus growing in the wood. Never heard of it before, but cool, eh?

It's also cool discovering and chatting with the many artistic folks who live and work on the back roads and in the villages surrounding the farmette. Until next time.

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