Last week I got the chance to visit some truly unique BC Wood members with David Pao. We visited Brent Comber Originals and Straight Line Designs. This was my first time in a shop and I had an amazing experience.
We started the day by visiting a non-BC Wood member, Francis Lemieux & Co. We got a chance to check out some of Francis’ products and chat with him about the Wood Co-op that recently shutdown. Francis was a board member for the Wood Co-op that was located on Granville Island. If you would like to know more about what happened to the Wood Co-op, visit Francis’ blog: http://relevantwoodworking.blogspot.com/.
We then visited BC Wood member, Brent Comber Originals. Brent Comber showed me his unique designs and took me behind the “Staff Only” doors. I had a sensory overload as I entered the shop, from the warm scent of wood and sawdust embracing the air around me, to the sounds of craftsmen sawing, cutting, and carving big pieces of wood, bringing Brent Comber’s visions into reality. All around me I saw piles of raw wood and pieces of Brent Comber’s designs. I learned a lot about how wood is prepared and made into a finished product. I even got a little souvenir!
The next company we visited was Straight Line Designs. On the way up to shop, we dropped in on Christian Woo at Christian Woo Woodwork & Design. Christian was busy preparing for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York this May. We then went up to Straight Line Designs, conveniently located in the same building. As I walked into the shop, I felt like I walked into Dr Seuss’s workshop. There were all different shapes and colours, and to set the mood, whimsical music was playing in the background. It looked like a really fun place to work. Jud Beaumont gave me a delightful tour of his shop and showed me some really unusual pieces of furniture. It made me wish I was a kid again so I can have some really unique furniture pieces! Jud also shared some pretty interesting stories about tradeshows he has done in the past. If you ever run into him, ask him about his Tokyo adventure involving his Elvis Whale.
This was my first taste of the value-added wood industry and I learned a lot. I got a chance to see all of the effort and processes that go into making a finished wood product. I look forward to visiting more BC Wood Members and learning more about this industry; but, next time I will bring a camera so I can show you what I got to see!