Midhurst Arts & Crafts Tour Shines A Spotlight On Local Artists

Laurena Green returns to the Midhurst Arts & Crafts Home Tour Nov. 23-24 with new work and a new guest artist. She marks her third year as a studio stop where she also teaches a variety of textile based classes in garment making, quilting, hand embroidery and fibre arts for all skill levels.

For her own work, she is a fibre artist who uses a variety of methods to create unique framed art and wearable silk and hemp scarves. Her work can incorporate block prints, hand prints, photo transfer, water colour, pen and ink and embroidery.

Laurena Green with some of her artwork

Born in Toronto, Green came to Barrie 10 years ago with her husband who works at Georgian College. It marked a transition away from costume design for Stratford Festival and the National Ballet of Canada into teaching. She opened a studio called Spool Lounge in the Lakeshore Mews to teach sewing skills.

As a child, Green was always drawing, creating and crafting. Her mother taught her how to sew but she felt, from watching her, that she didn’t need to follow her instructions. Green started out making doll clothes with a little pink chain stitch sewing machine and graduated to making her own clothes in Grade 6, took it as a subject in school in (Grade) 7/8.

Toward the end of elementary school, her mother enrolled her a Parks & Rec class to learn sewing machine basics and it established a direction for a career that didn’t come into being for another 30 years when she moved to Barrie.

Laurena Green’s framed art work

“The room was filled with older women and I remember clearly in that class watching the woman next to me as she learned how to thread a needle for the first time and she was near tears,” Green recalled. “It was an important moment for me. I thought I’m going to teach sewing. I thought this is amazing to this woman (yet) it seemed so simple to me.”

In-between, Green acquired a Bachelor of Applied Arts at Ryerson University in Fashion Design and Production Management and after working for several years in the fashion industry moved into costuming.

The couple relocated to Midhurst three years ago when Green’s ‘dream house’ came up for sale. She also moved Spool Lounge. Her studio is stop #6 on the tour. It is located on 74 Finlay Mill Rd.

Guest artist Danielle Skentzos marks the first time pottery is back on the tour in several years. Her speciality is clean lines, simple palettes in tableware, serving dishes and tiny tea sets made on a pottery wheel.

Assorted pottery by Danielle Skentzos of Shiralee Pottery

Midhurst Arts & Crafts Home Tour include10 stops throughout the village, all with guest artists, as well as The Midhurst United Church which has five artists. The church serves lunch on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, the Barrie Literacy Council provides the lunch from noon to 3 p.m.

There is also a charity draw of donated handmade items. Funds raised from the draw go to the Barrie Literacy Council. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23-24. For more details see www.midhurstartsandcrafts.com.