I like to build things. As a young child, I was always tinkering. Anything I could get my hands on, I would take apart and put back together to understand how it worked. I was fascinated by how things came together, whether it was improving my model train and airplane collections or building the highest ramp possible for my BMX bike.
My introduction to woodworking came in elementary school, in Grade 7 wood shop class. The first time I walked into the class, I was mesmerized by the abundance of tools and equipment. I had a very passionate and engaging industrial arts teacher who encouraged me to explore different projects and ways of working with material.
At the same time, I was drawn to the work being done by my next-door neighbour, who came from a long line of master woodworkers. He was a custom home builder and an incredibly talented cabinet maker and furniture restorer. I often found him working in his shop. I was amazed at how his hands produced intricate and accurate works. By my early teens, I had become his unofficial apprentice, assisting him with restoration, building new furniture and creating architectural millwork. He was very patient, with a seemingly limitless amount of knowledge and I loved tapping into it. He encouraged me to research more complex methods of woodworking to help me expand my own practice, and I was able to branch out on my own.
My first shop was in my parent’s garage and, while tiny, I was proud to have reached this next level in my woodworking education. Here I was able to use my skills to create cabinets, architecutral pieces and furniture using traditional woodworking methods and joinery. This period lasted until my early 20s when I got married and moved into my own home. The first order of business was to build my own woodworking studio where I could continue my practice.
For the next 15 years, I refined my skills and expanded my knowledge. In the late 1990s, I became very interested in wood turning. This became my main focus and I achieved success with my lathe art. I was involved in several local exhibitions and events, including exhibitions at the Springbank Art Centre (now Visual Arts Mississauga) and the Craft Council of Ontario (now Craft Ontario). Alongside my lathe art, I continued to build furniture and architectural elements. This period brought great satisfaction as I honed my skills and explored the artistic side of woodworking.
While this was a prosperous and rewarding time, I took a hiatus to focus on my family and other business ventures. Even though I was not producing work during this time, my family continued to support and encourage my love for woodworking and hoped that I would reopen my studio.
In 2019, I felt that the time was right to reopen the studio and continue my love for the craft. Woodworking represents so much to me and is part of the fabric of my life. I felt incomplete without it. The skills I gained in other areas of my life gave me the confidence I needed to return to the studio full time. My experience and skill set gained over 30 years of practice has allowed me to take on challenging and complex projects. Entering this new period, I hope to continue my work, but to also to explore new methods and techniques. Through my years of woodworking, a large focus has always been on the use of handtools and I have amassed a large collection. While this remains a central tenet of my practice, I am looking forward to introducing new technology to combine tradtitional and modern woodworking techniques.