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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Queenston Pottery shows off renovations during studio tour
Eva Mlcak showed guests just how sturdy her pottery is during last weekend's studio tour. JULIA SACCO
Genevieve Groat said Queenston Pottery is her favourite place to buy handmade goods. JULIA SACCO

For the first time ever, residents and visitors could take an inside look at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s artist studios and take in the creativity.

Last Saturday and Sunday, the NOTL Studio Tour exhibited 28 artists over 16 locations, highlighting some of the creatives in town who fly under the radar. 

Queenston Pottery is a perfect example of a hidden gem in town — and owners are hoping to change that.

During the studio tour, the property in Queenston debuted its updated and renovated studio space and sales floor.

Lisa Dahl, daughter-in-law of owner Eva Mlcak, said that her hope with the studio tour is to “demystify the driveway” into the studio, which sometimes intimidates a customer from stopping by.

And a stop-by is well worth it.

In 1978, after immigrating from the Czech Republic, Mlcak and her husband Frank built their entire home, studio and gallery from scratch.

“We bought this land because somebody had let it go. We always liked this street because the country where we are from and the region where we lived was always very hilly,” Mlcak told The Lake Report.

She said that the York Road property made her feel at home.

Mlcak and her husband were engineers before shifting to focus on their artistic endeavours.

They were both good with design and Frank Mlcak was very handy with tools, something that his son Rick has carried on with.

Almost 50 years later, Mlcak still adds the final brushwork to the pieces herself, putting care and attention into every piece at Queenston Pottery.

After the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of her husband, Mlcak had begun plans to slow down business a bit.

But, at the same time, her son and daughter-in-law were able to make the move to Niagara and lend a hand.

“We thought the business was so beautiful and too important to let it go,” Dahl said.

“We are now taking on and growing off of the strong foundation that has already been built.”

Along with renovations, Queenston Pottery is now offering Studio Tours and hoping to add some pottery classes in the fall.

“We’re really looking to turn this place into a destination and experience for people who are here touring, something in addition to a wine tour,” Dahl said. 

Queenston Pottery is located at 1648 York Rd. and more information on their hours and offerings can be found at queenstonpottery.com.

juliasacco@niagaranow.com

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