Meet your local artists in wood. You can spot them; they usually have sawdust spilling from the folds of their clothes. They have been known to take simple pieces of wood, rough timber from the forests or driftwood from the beach and fashion fine crafts or furniture.
"We're high density for woodworkers on the Coast," says Peter Moonen of Roberts Creek, who is president of a provincial organization that uses the province's greatest natural resource. Locally, he is a member of the South Coast Value Added Co-op that includes 60 members throughout southern B.C. Of those 60, the majority live and create on the Sunshine Coast. This Thanksgiving weekend, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8 to 9, local members of the South Coast Value Added Co-op will be showing and selling their work at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt.
Moonen considers the building to be an entirely appropriate venue for this show, since it is a magnificent example of craftsmanship in wood construction. Two years ago it was raised by the Timber Framers' Guild and with much participation from the community at all levels of construction and finishing. Moonen's company, Thin Wood, also manufactures a value-added product, a veneer board, but he won't be displaying it."This show is about craft," he says. "It's a celebration of the skills of woodworkers on the Sunshine Coast, not about a machine that cuts wood."
The items on display will include a wide range of styles and mediums in furniture, musical instruments, utensils, screens and turned bowls. Artisan Will Cummer of Gibsons works with driftwood in making his one-of-a-kind furniture. He'll bring his latest beach wood effort that has been shaped into a loveseat called Eau Naturel, a driftwood table and many of his small crafts: maple burl jewellery boxes, beach banks, an item he invented to hold treasures of the sea, and one of his latest novelties, magnetic money trees that can be used to hold spare change. Woodworker Tim Clement of Roberts Creek will concentrate on seating: chairs and bar stools. Why this particular niche? "They're a challenge," he says. "They keep me interested." His studio on the highway is open to the public, and he's also well known in the community after running a portable sawmill for many years.
Richard Barry of the Barry Patch is usually to be seen selling garden furniture and plants. Part of his business, Woodn't It Be Nice, concentrates on driftwood items and wooden signs. Out of interest, Barry joined a recently-formed woodworking club started by a Sechelt resident, Brian Lucas. The club has met only once, and 24 interested people who love to work with wood, including a couple who make cedar strip canoes, hope to show their work at the forthcoming Wood Show. The show is free, open to the public and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday night with a reception and refreshments from 6 to 8 p.m. The reception is the best time to meet the artisans themselves. The show opens again on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Will Cummer at 604-885-8258 or email email@example.com or call Tim Clement at 604-886-8218.