Fox Meadow Creations was established in 1995 by Lorrie Szekat and Gary Long, who are marriage as well as business partners.
We came up with the name while on a picnic in the country, says Gary. We were sitting on the edge of an old meadow when a fox suddenly bounded over the rise in front of us. Startled to find us in her meadow, she quickly darted behind a juniper bush to peek at us. The autumn scene at the top of our web pages was taken from the spot we were sitting.
Growing up in Bracebridge, Muskoka, Gary spent his boyhood summers bicycling the back roads that twist through the surrounding woods and hills (this is still his favourite recreational pastime).
A geographer by training (he has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo), Gary took up a career as a freelance writer, combining his knowledge of geography and history in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. He is author of the books This River the Muskoka and Gilmour Tramway: A Lumber Barons Desperate Scheme, and co-author of When Giants Fall: The Gilmour Quest for Algonquin Pine.
When he and Lorrie founded Fox Meadow, Gary became the firms editor, typesetter, and chief hot cocoa maker (those long Canadian winters!). As he does not believe in using motorized vehicles, he can frequently be seen about town doing business chores on his bicycle (in winter he walks).
Lorrie with Thomas, a tiny orphan raccoon on his way to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Below, Gary heads off in the company truck.
Whenever people collect, awestruck by the phenomenon before them, a cat invariably walks nonchalantly past. Whistling.
Born near Dundurn Castle, Lorrie Szekat was transported to the wilds of Ontarios Muskoka District as a baby, and grew up amid the curious ruins of Candytown, a ghost town on the outskirts of Port Sydney.
Lorrie earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Diploma in Graphic Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Although she concentrated on book design and typography, her studies also included art history, ceramics, woodblock printing, stone-carving, drawing, photography, and computer image-making.
As Fox Meadows designer, Lorrie demands that the appearance of each book, every minute detail, harmonize exquisitely with the text. Forests are precious, she says, and to honour trees, a book must be the finest creation possible. A book should look as though it hatched that way, and cannot be imagined more perfect.
Lorrie loves books and reads to excess. She even writes, illustrates, and hand-binds her own wee sprightly volumes. Inventing swashbucklingly fun images, she produces greeting cards and postcards under the Winking Toad imprint. Lorrie also captures inspiring vistas, Nature studies, wonky houses, and portraits in watercolour, pen & ink, or as linoleum or woodblock prints.
For an eclectic sampling of Lorries imaginative art and other inspired works, you can now hop to her own Winking Toad website.