Bancroft Studio Tour


Studio Tour jewellery maker, Michelle Bruce—who was born and raised in Windsor—confesses that, although her mom and gramma were craft-inclined, she was decidedly left-brain when it came to her schooling and her early work career. She and husband. David, attended Western university in London and graduated as geology majors. And, not being able to land work in that field at that time, took training in accounting, moved to Burington (in 1987) and landed jobs in that profession.

Her craft-making, right brain “aha moment” happened during the Burlington years when she randomly walked into a stained-glass craft store that happened to be at the end of her street, loved what she saw there and began taking lessons to learn the craft. In the late 1990s, the Bruce’s decided they needed a change and moved to Maynooth, with David continuing in the accountancy business and Michelle setting up a craft business in Barry’s Bay that she named Botanical Glassworks—primarily selling works by local craftspeople but eventually works of her own.

She took a wide range of crafting classes over the years—primarily in the U.S, learning various jewellery-making methods including her, now, primary mode, wireworks. And on those trips, purchased semi-precious stones to include in her own pendant and necklace making. And selling the burgeoning quantities of her own works crafted in her home studio. And, with her now well-developed expertise, became an important teacher in the region with as many as 3 classes a week to fulfill the local interest for folks wanting to learn from her. She also participated in local Maynooth, Barry’s Bay, Combermere and Bancroft craft fairs and farmers’ markets as well as offering items in the Muse Gallery in Bancroft.

She joined the Bancroft and Area Studio Tour in 1999 and participated off and on over the years—even assuming the role of co-ordinator for the group for a 3-year period.

However, around the time that Covid struck, she and David felt they needed a change in their life—and wanted to divest themselves of the 4 local properties they had accumulated. And, after doing that, found and purchased a property, site unseen, on the coast of the Bay of Fundy in St.

Andrew’s N.B. to be their simple one-place home. And moved there in 2022. She participates in the odd show there and also has a sales relationship with a high-end fine art, craft and jewellery store called Handworks Gallery in Saint John where she sells sterling silver and semi-precious stone pendants and necklaces.

Not abandoning her adopted Bancroft area, Michelle returns to participate in the studio tour every fall—as a guest of Nancy Mckinnon in West Bay House at 187 Storey Road, Hartsmere Connect with her at

(Profile writing by Allan O’Marra)