“My grandfather was a woodworker on my mother’s side and my father had a wood work shop that I grew up with, so I guess that’s where I got my initial appreciation for wood in general. Then I went to N.A.I.T. and got trained up as a biological tech (ecology major), and never did work in my field because enviro jobs were in short supply in the mid 70’s. So after a couple of years in Red Deer , AB. working at an institute for the mentally handicapped I bought in on some land in Beaton, south of Revelstoke, and became a “back-to-the-lander”. But I still needed employment, so out there you either worked for highways or one of the few local loggers, which is how I started my 30 year logging career, and also explains how wood became so ingrained in my life. While working in the old growth cedar forest I became enthralled with the way the gnarly old limbs grew and with the grain in the cut off burls, with their many bumps and bulges. So naturally I started hauling the pretty sticks home, for what I wasn’t sure yet.
So after years of hauling funky pieces of wood home and stacking them under a cedar tree in my yard, and some urging from my wife at the time, I finally built myself a shop to house my collection. All my material gets stored for at least a year indoors before I use it, so it can dry completely. Having the shop allowed me to now start collecting tools and start building some furniture. While on a wood buying trip to Sorrento B.C., the guy selling me the wood (oval shaped window cut outs from a door factory) turned out to be a wood carver of considerable talent. He showed me his shop and setup for carving, gave me a sweet deal on the wood, and sent me away newly inspired.
I love the variety of natural colours and grain found in wood, if I want a different colour I use a different wood, I don’t like to use stains because I feel they cloud the depth of the grain. The finish I use on most of my furniture and carvings is either clear polyurethane, or spar varnish (multiple coats). On my hand carved bowls I use tung oil finished with caranuba wax, both of which are food safe. The majority of the wood I use for my projects is from salvaged sources which is something I take pride in. I like giving a second life to what I consider to be the wood with character.”