If you're a devotee of the expensive, horror-vacuii style of majolica ware that these folks produce, you will absolutely adore this place. If not, then it's still a pleasant way to spend an hour or two, even if you do walk out with your eyes vibrating and your hands empty.
The MacKenzie-Childs brand has gone through some bumps and grinds. The original designers, eccentric and talented ceramicists recently graduated from the ceramic school in Alfred, New York, created this over-the-top decorator enclave back in the free-wheeling 80s, when folks could actually afford to do their entire kitchens in black-and-white checks, oversized tassles and fish-shaped sinks. Since then there has been a bankruptcy, a fire, the whole thing has changed hands twice, and what remains is fundamentally the same concept minus quite a bit of the whimsy and fun of the original. The couple who created the whole thing have been stripped of their rights to use the name, so it is used here exclusively.
On a recent beautiful autumn day we soaked up the lovely view from the main parking lot, gasped at a number of price tags in the visually entertaining shop, and took the farmhouse tour. This latter is charming but is still at heart a sales pitch. Our tour guide, Todd, would do well to slow down and try not to sound so overwhelmingly canned... after the tour we both agreed that "he's been doing this for way too long." He did not seem amenable to questions but rather seemed happy when the tour concluded, in spite of his efforts to smile and put a "fun" spin on his descriptions.
The farmhouse itself is quite lovely--again, if you like lots of decoration everywhere you look--and the color combinations seen therein are rich, juicy, refreshing and sumptuous. I can think of worse ways to spend 45 minutes without an entrance fee.
I should note that for whatever reason, ladies seem to be the predominant visitors here. We saw few men and those gravitated to the comfortable benches in the theater area of the gift shop.
In summer months it is apparently possible to see more of the grounds; I have toured the farm before and can report that it is lovely. We did not see the working area so cannot speak to the factory tour.
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