GFC is trying hard to slow the spread of Covid-19. For the foreseeable future we are open by appointment only, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11am-4pm.
Please book your visit by email: email@example.com
You can also shop online (see below).
We endorse social distancing and will be limiting visitors to 4 at a time. We respectfully ask that you wear a face mask when visiting.
Also visit our artists’ pages on this website to see photos of all their current work in the gallery, prices and item codes.
NEW: our Featured Artist page is an online exhibition of new work in the gallery!
How to purchase online?
Please email us with your requests (artist’s name and item code): firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you out.
Payments can be made via electronic bank transfer or by calling us with a credit card number. No-contact pick up here or we can deliver locally. We can also ship anywhere within North America.
For updates and images of new work, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
Thank-you and take care of each other,
63 Mill St., Almonte Ontario (map on CONTACT page)
phone: 613-461-3463 email: email@example.com
Ask us about shipping anywhere in North America!
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General Fine Craft is a commercial gallery exhibiting the work of highly skilled, innovative artists mainly from Ontario and Quebec. The bright, open space is designed to showcase functional and non-functional fine craft and art. Our makers are at mid and mature stages in their creative lives, all demonstrating a profound and professional devotion to their art practices.
Our 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.
We host Featured Artists’ exhibitions in the gallery and on this website, growing Almonte’s reputation for being a hub of creativity in Eastern Ontario.
Chandler Swain and Richard Skrobecki opened General Fine Craft in April 2013. Each are recognized studio potters with many years of experience making and promoting their own distinctive styles of work. Their first collaboration was in 2005 with the creation of the popular 260 Fingers annual ceramic exhibition in Ottawa. With General Fine Craft, they brought to life a vision for a dynamic new space for art and fine craft. Jewellerymaker Meredith Kucey joined them as part-time gallery assistant in 2015.
As of January 1, 2016 Chandler left as a business partner to pursue her studio practice, but you may still see her behind the desk several Sundays per month!
Richard Skrobecki continues to run the gallery with the same spirit of exploration and emphasis on quality craftsmanship by Canadian makers. Please contact him for any inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Fine Craft is pleased to be distributor for Louis Helbig’s influencial book BEAUTIFUL DESTRUCTION.
Editions are available for $75 + gst and shipping.
To purchase, come into the gallery or order on line: Louis@helbig.ca
To see pictures of the gallery, go to Gallery photos
Explore GALLERY ARTISTS to see individual artist’s pages, learn about their work and inspiration.
See the EXHIBITIONS page for past exhibitions, photos and essays on particular shows and individual artists’ work.
Visit our page on COLLECTING
If you’re an artist interested in submitting work to the gallery, visit HOURS/CONTACT/BUY/SUBMIT
Peter Simpson’s article on ‘Frost-bitten Mosquito-slapping Trolly-tippers’ in the Ottawa Citizen: http://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/local-reviews/saucy-horses-and-downtown-polar-bears-new-manitoba-art-in-almonte
La Press: Almonte – le plus beau fleuron http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/4ccc-afac-5331d496-9f87-5878ac1c6068%7C_0.html
See CTV’s Leanne Cusack November 18 interview with Chandler and Richard in the gallery: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1047702
Tripadvisor.com : Almonte visitors’ comments
The General has been listed as one of the top 10 retail art galleries to visit in Ontario by Days Out Ontario.
Thanks to The Ruralist for their recent postings about General Fine Craft, Art & Design and other great Almonte features.
See CTV’s Regional Contact interview with Chandler Swain: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=933938
Why ‘GENERAL’ Fine Craft?
The name General Fine Craft came to us in part from Almonte’s interesting history.
Founded in 1821, the town was originally named Shipman’s Mills. Three sets of waterfalls along the Mississippi River (not the big U.S. Mississippi, but the smaller Lanark County one) made it ideal for the construction of water-powered mills. Within a few decades, it became one of the busiest textile-producing mill towns in Canada. Trains transported raw wool to the mills for processing and weaving into fine fabrics that were exported around the world.
The town went through several name changes before settling on Almonte, after General Juan Almonte . Born in 1804 to a Mexican priest (later a rebel patriot) and an aboriginal woman, he was educated in New Orleans where he became fluent in Spanish, French and English. He returned to serve in the Mexican army from 1822-40, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. Almonte served as Mexican Secretary of War until 1856 when he became the Ambassador to Washington, followed by England and then France. From 1863-65 he served as President of the failed Mexican Junta, later returning to France where he died peacefully in 1869.
Internationally respected, General Juan Almonte had always maintained a stance against U.S. incursions into Mexican territories. His anti-American sympathies were known here in Canada where Loyalists had real concerns about U.S. expansionism north into Upper Canada. Though he had no direct association with the area, locals were so taken with Almonte’s integrity that they officially named the town after him in 1856.
Today his portrait hangs above the town’s main street, but references are otherwise only found in the pages of history books. Among the curious-minded, intrigue still surrounds him – making him a bit of an enigma. That’s exactly what we like about him and why we honour The General.
With a population of approximately 6,500 people, Almonte Ontario is located 40 minutes west of Canada’s capital city Ottawa. It bustles with creative energy long after the demise of a once-booming woolen industry. Amalgamated with the towns of Pakenham, Blakeney, Ramsay and Appleton in 1998, the municipality is now known as Mississippi Mills.
From its restored 19th century downtown core to popular street festivals, museums, music series and a lively shopping area with niche businesses and restaurants, Almonte has become a real destination point for travellers and day-trippers.
It’s also known as ‘the friendly town’ where people are welcoming and helpful.
Some popular online listings that recommend visiting Almonte:
Days Out Ontario top ten quaint villages to visit in Ontario
Ottawa Life feature on Almonte: