Whenever you look through the scrapbook documenting Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ history or listen to people recounting their memories, Betty and Walter Reynolds are mentioned time and time again. The Reynolds joined Muskoka Arts & Crafts in 1967. From 1968 until 1970, Walter served as President. During this time, Betty was the librarian and they were both involved with overseeing the organization of the Summer Show, which greatly expanded under their guidance. Betty and Walter were steady exhibitors at the Summer Show from 1967 until the early 1990s.
The couple’s interest in their craft began as a hobby in 1964, when they took their first trip west after selling their funeral home business. A hobby collecting rocks for their garden led to an interest in tumbling and polishing stones, then to silversmithing.
They learned the fundamentals of their craft by attending workshops. Betty shared her knowledge by teaching many workshops at Georgian College and Muskoka Arts & Crafts. As they learned more about lapidary and silversmithing, the Reynolds became highly inventive as Walter constructed their own silversmithing equipment as well as cutting, tumbling and grinding tools.
The quality of their work has been recognized at the Spring Members’ Shows, the Ontario Crafts Council and in 1986, one of their sterling silver spoons was selected to be part of Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Permanent Collection.
Walter died on February 7, 2006 at the age of 93. Betty died on May 20, 2013 in her 91st year.