About General Fine Craft

Exterior of General Fine Craft in Almonte, Ontario

Shop hours:

Due to the current Ontario-wide temporary closure of all non-essential retail, our shop is closed to visitors. But we are very much open online, so please enjoy all the beautiful items this website features.

Purchases can be made via this website! Contact us by email to order. Pick up curbside or we can ship items to you. Payments can be made via electronic bank transfer or by calling us with a credit card number. We ship across North America.

Who we are

GFC is a commercial gallery exhibiting the work of highly skilled, innovative artists and craftspeople from Ontario and west Quebec. The bright, open space is designed to showcase contemporary fine craft and 2-d art. Our makers are at mid and mature stages in their creative lives, all demonstrating a profound and professional devotion to their art practices.

The mission is to illuminate the art in Fine Craft and the craft in Fine Art by selecting work that is challenging on many levels: technical, aesthetic, conceptual – and in terms of its ability to simply delight the human soul. From functional pottery and blown glass to paintings, wearable art and much more, there’s something for every taste and budget.

GFC opened its doors in April 2013 as a collaborative project by friends/colleagues Chandler Swain and Richard Skrobecki. Each are recognized ceramic artists with many years of experience making and promoting their work as well as that of others through artist-run initiatives such as 260 Fingers.

Richard Skrobecki is the current owner/manager. His commitment to quality craftsmanship makes General Fine Craft a significant supporter of craft in eastern Ontario. Please contact him for any enquiries.


Why ‘General’ Fine Craft?

The name General Fine Craft came about in part from Almonte’s interesting history. Founded in 1821, the town was originally named Shipman’s Mills. Three natural sets of waterfalls made the area ideal for the construction of water-powered mills. Within a few decades, it had become one of the busiest textile-producing regions in Canada. The town went through several name changes before settling on Almonte in 1856.

General Almonte

Juan Almonte was a Mexican general and diplomat whose views on America’s incursions into neighbouring territories won him admirers around the world. This included Shipman’s Mills, where Loyalist sympathizers liked him so much that they decided to name the town after him.

Today his portrait hangs on the town’s main street without much reference to the man’s complex contributions and life story. Among the curious-minded, intrigue still surrounds him – making him a bit of an enigma. That’s exactly what GFC likes about him and why we honour his name today.

Almonte Today

With a population of 6,500+ people, Almonte is located 40 minutes west of Canada’s capital city Ottawa, Ontario. Long after the demise of the woolen industry, it once again bustles with entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. In 1998 the towns of Almonte, Pakenham, Blakeney, Ramsay and Appleton amalgamated into one municipality known as Mississippi Mills.

From its restored 19th century downtown core to popular street festivals, museums, recreational activities, music series and a lively shopping area with creative niche businesses and restaurants, Almonte has become a charming destination for travellers, day-trippers and connoisseurs of local & handmade. It’s also known as “the friendly town” where people are welcoming and helpful.