River Muse Art Gallery & Studio... ...where creativity flows
Artisan woodworker and boat lover Stephen C. Shay is a retired clergyman, and a passionate woodworker working out of his shop and studio in Maitland, ON, Canada, near his beloved St. Lawrence River.
Shay makes nautical items that include whimsical fish, old paddle wheel steam boats, cargo ships, “Lakers”, harbor tugs and huge wooden river and lakes sturgeons. He specializes in historically correct 1000 Islands tour boats in his unique folk art style.
His first encounter with small boats was on Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes District of New York State. He spent summers in the 1000 Islands in the 1950s and 60s, experiencing the skiffs, grand mahogany boats, and Seaway Lakers that sailed there. He soon learned about the beautiful wood and coal fired wooden steamers and their place in the development of communities, industries and trade routes along the River and in the 1000 Islands.
All items are hand crafted for the most part from re-purposed, first-cut Upper Canada pine gleaned from the floor boards of houses, barns and boat houses built by early Upper Canada.