We’re now just past the halfway point in the season at the Aurora Farmers’
Market and Artisan Fair and it has been going very well. The farmers’
tables are laden with all manner of fresh, local produce with more coming
into season every week. Our creative artisans have also been busy
designing innovative items to showcase on their tables. There really is
something for every taste at the Market.
Our next vendor profile is about artisan Moira O’Bryan of “Designs by
Moira”. She grew up in a small village in Buckinghamshire, England as an
early 1950’s “Baby Boomer”. After high school, Moira attended a teacher
training college in London for three years, where she specialized in Primary
Education while following a main course of study in Physical Education.
After graduation, Moira and her husband were married in 1974 and
emigrated to Canada. After teaching for a few years, her three children
were born and she became a stay-at-home Mom for several years. As the
children became increasingly independent and began to drift away from the
nest, Moira had time to nurture the more creative side of her personality.
She discovered that she had two new passions, photography and jewellery
Her interest in photography was heightened upon taking a one week
residential course with two celebrated Canadian photographers—Freeman
Patterson and Andre Gallant. Not only did they help Moira advance her
technical knowledge but also helped her realize that through photography,
you develop the “Art of Seeing” which becomes a source of endless
During this same time period, Moira was introduced to the art of jewellery
making by a good friend. Over the past ten years, Moira has taken many
classes at “That Bead Lady” in Newmarket. Under the tutelage of Alison
Layton, she acquired many skills using different techniques to create
pieces of fashion jewellery. She works mainly with natural stones, wood,
pearls and sterling silver findings. She recently completed a silversmithing
course at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London,
England, she is excited to start working with sheet silver to create her own
findings. Since moving to Aurora, Moira has become an active member of
the GranAurora chapter of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. They raise funds
to support grandmothers in Africa whose families have been decimated by
AIDS. These brave women often are left to raise their grandchildren with
very little, if any, financial support. Moira has run workshops in her home
where members of her group learned how to craft African inspired jewellery
from recycled paper beads, sourced from Uganda. This jewellery is offered
for sale at various fundraisers throughout the year.
For the last three years, Moira has shared a booth with the GranAurora
group and she looks forward to continuing to do so. She cites the wonderful
community spirit and support of the other vendors as one of the most
enjoyable aspects of being at the Market. She also enjoys working with our
Market Manager, Anna, who she claims is a constant source of sanity and
humour. Although the GranAurora group is finished for this year, Moira will
be at the Market one more time this season. Be sure to drop by to see what
lovely creations she has made.
Our next Special Event is our very popular Community Corn Roast on
Saturday, August 24 th . The featured musicians will be good friends, David
Pilkey and Steve Falk. There will be free crafts for the children and a draw
for a Market bag full of goodies. We are working on making it another
exciting day for everyone.
See you at the Market!