I was born in London, Ontario and have continued to live here for my entire life. I had worked as a pressman for the same company for 30 years until the plant closed in 2011. I have no formal training as an artist, but my passion for working with wood has led me to
Today, intarsia is created by selecting different types of wood, using its natural grain patterns and colors (rather than dyes and stains) to create the different colors in the pattern. Each piece of wood is then individually cut-out , shaped, and sanded before fitting them all together like a jig-saw puzzle. They are glued to a piece of 1/4 inch plywood backing which is cut to the exact shape of the final product. Sometimes, additional pieces of plywood are used to raise areas of the pattern to create more depth. Once together, a final layer of finish is applied and the project is complete. Some projects can take days to complete depending on the design, the size and number of pieces of wood required.
Any subject that can be broke down into sections can be made into Intarsia. Creating new patterns from pictures has become very rewarding when I see the likeness of the subject in the finished product. I like to make animals and birds as the color and grain of the woods makes the subject come alive. Instead of painting pictures with paint and a brush, I create scenes or single subject images using many different types of wood from all over the world. I first plane the rough lumber to reveal the colour and grain of the wood. Working from a diagram or drawing, I then start to carefully select and cut the wood to represent the various pieces of his subject matter so that the finished product looks realistic. In addition to realism, I take time to select the way the grain flows and the various wood colours’ interact to reveal the spirit of the subject matter I am portraying.
With over 45 different types of wood to choose from, I find it exciting to find one that has different characteristics to other pieces of wood that I have used before. I have learnt more or less what to expect when the finish is applied to different woods. However, some woods can still surprise me when their wonderful grain and colour really “pop out” once the finish dries.
Since “retirement”, I have with the help of my mentor and good friend, Mike Lefebvre, increased my skill level doing Intarsia to the point that I feel comfortable referring to myself as an “artist in wood”.
“I enjoy seeing the reaction of the person getting the piece”.
I have been exhibiting my art for the first time in a public venue at The Aeolian Hall.
I can be contacted via our contact us page.