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Vibrant, historic, festive and cozy ...
The newest studio on the 3rd floor opened in the Spring and is now
the “Gallery and Workshop” where Paul Crysler creates, displays & sells his unique tables made from mill bolters
The historic stairway from the store to the gallery on the 2nd floor.
Nature’s Millworks located on the banks of the Teeswater River in Paisley, ON is Paul and Helen Crysler's “retirement labour of love,” transforming the historic 1885 Paisley City Mill into the particularly remarkable store and gallery it is today.
The Cryslers, originally from Toronto, were no strangers to the area when they purchased the Mill in 2000. “We had a cottage in Bruce Township, my dad grew up in Hanover and my mom grew up in Chesley,” said Helen during a tour of the Mill on October 17th.
Restoration and repairs of the locally known Stark’s Mill began in 2000 and, for the first time in 30 years, the Cryslers re-opened the doors in 2002 followed by the grand opening of Nature’s Millworks on May 17, 2003.
“We have been gradually getting to know the local artisans, so a lot of the items sold in the store are Canadian and locally made,” explained Helen. “We carry everything… we started out with nature themes (Earth, Fire, Sun, Water and Wind) because of the name of the store and then we went from there….a lot of people depend on us for gifts that are unique.”
The Mill is four stories high and is joined to the actual Mill building by a covered wagon drive-through, which is where Paul and Helen have created their unique loft.
Helen said they have tried to keep as much of the original 1885 mill as they could, preserving items such as a chopper, a smutter and re-purposed many machinery pieces including leftover bolters that Paul uses to create gorgeous, one-of-a-kind tables that are displayed and for sale on the 3rd floor.
Paul Crysler's beautifully hand-crafted dining table ...
... created with a mill bolster
The gallery recently showcased many local artists during the Autumn Harvest Festival Art Show and that featured an array of artistic masterpieces of all kinds in celebration of Fall, including stained glass, fine art, forged iron, wood turnings, blown glass, woven products, quilted items and more. Although the show is over, many of the items are still at the Mill.
The Cryslers are now preparing for the popular pre-Christmas “By Our Hands” Art Show that begins November 5th and runs until December 19th, which is also when the store will then close until January 6, 2017.
“It will be a really neat show because we will feature more local artisans, with smaller art pieces such as pottery and glass,” Helen added.
The gallery’s art shows start in May of every year with a three week rotation featuring artists within 35 km of the Mill, attracting more than 5,000 visitors each year.
If you’re curious about local history, enjoy art or have some shopping to do, make Nature’s Millworks your next stop.
Not only does it feature many antiques, one-of-a-kind mill artifacts, gifts, art, handcrafted jewelry and more, it also acts as an information booth for Paisley, carrying brochures and information pamphlets for visitors to take home with them.
An antique wheel with notches that look like metal, “but are actually just really hard wood”
Nature’s Millworks is located at 4575 Bruce County Rd. #1, R.R. #2, Paisley, ON N0G 2N0 and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Sunday. From Jan. 2 to April 30, they will be open Thursday to Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information about Nature’s Millworks history and upcoming events, visit www.naturesmillworks.com or give Paul and Helen a call at 519-353-4017.
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Monday, October 31, 2016