Our new name is what we do

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Our new name – Whistler Woodcraft – reflects our focus on the craft of working with wood.

When I started this business, I wanted a name that reflected the wide range of genres in which I worked. As my wife will attest, I have a touch of ADHD, which is reflected in the many media in which I create using a combination of artistic flair and technical expertise.

I started early in life as a photographer, where I developed my eye for composition and deep technical knowledge of the technology of cameras and the chemistry of printing.

Later I started working with wood, designing and creating furniture for our house. My career has been in the dynamic business of high tech, and every time I changed jobs I channeled my stress into a new piece of furniture.

I then became interested in stained glass, and once again designed and created a wide range of pieces for our house and as gifts.

I probably would have gotten into fused glass and pottery as well if I could have afforded the kilns.

When I decided to evolve from a hobbyist to a craftsperson, I focused on what I did – which is pretty much anything that caught my interest – and Whistler Fine Arts was born. I quickly learned that both photography and stained glass are not very profitable.

Modern cameras and smart phones are so capable that pretty much anyone can take a good picture now. Very few people are willing to pay for a photograph.

Stained glass is so time-consuming that few people are willing to pay what it really costs to produce a Tiffany-style glass panel. By the time I add up my material costs and the number of hours in a piece, I barely make minimum wage at the price at which people are willing to pay.

Cheap foreign knock-offs have also flooded the craft market and driven price expectations into the ground.

But hand-made wood pieces are still appreciated by some, especially when they are built from unique wood sourced locally. So we are going to focus on wood for the next while, and I wanted our name to reflect that.

My medium is wood and my differentiating factor is my craft, so “Whistler Woodcraft” was born.

Join me in my journey as I explore unique sources of wood and build interesting, beautiful and functional items for your home.

Wally.

My head is full of rocks

I recently spent several weeks vacationing in Newfoundland, so I now know why it is called “the rock”; there are rocks everywhere.

All four coasts are mostly magnificent cliffs, the bottom of most “ponds” are covered in rocks, and even their highest peaks are liberally strewn with small rocks. Everywhere you go, there are rocks.

I’ve always had an affinity for rocks, so I was quite engrossed with what we came across.

Even though we were flying home, we managed to pack a few choice rocks in our checked bags.

Towards the end of our trip we visited the Johnson Geo Center in St. John’s, which is a fantastic museum that pretty clearly explains why Newfoundland has such interesting geology.  The island includes both a stub of the Appalachian mountains and beaches that were once connected to Morocco. The age of the rocks varies from recently-deposited sandstone to peridotite  from the earth’s mantle.  A coloured map of the types of geology in the island looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.

So now I am bouncing around ideas for making things out of rocks.  Possibilities include rock candles, rock table tops, and hybrid items made from combinations of my favourite materials like rock & glass and rock & wood.

Keep your eyes open for new items appearing in our store over the next few weeks.

 

Wally.

Introducing Wally 2.0

There is an old saying that goes “if you are doing what you love it’s not really a job.”

After 30 years in technology, I have decided to pursue my alter ego and have launched Whistler Fine Arts to showcase my inner artisan.

Very few people know that while I was busy dealing with the chaos and uncertainty of high tech, I was also honing my skills in a variety of crafts.

My work/life balance was usually heavily weighted towards work. The exception was when my job disappeared, which was an all to common occurrence. My plan for dealing with the stress and uncertainly of unemployment was to immerse myself in a new project. My house is now littered with custom furniture and stained glass, each of them linked to a specific life event. Each project got bigger, more elaborate and more challenging.

Yes, I have a habit of changing jobs too often.

I finally decided to flip my world around and pursue my craft while working part-time in technology.

Even now, however, I cannot help but look a the opportunities to link the worlds of e-commerce and art. www.whistlerfinearts.com is an opportunity to both launch a new career and to learn a whole new technology.

Who knows, I might be able to build this into a whole new start-up…

Wally.

Welcome to Whistler Woodcraft