Recent History – 2000
Sept. 11, 2000, By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Appreciators of fine wood products will have plenty to enjoy when the Peace Wood Works 2000 Northern Wood Forum takes place this weekend in Dawson Creek.
Wood replicas of trucks and trains,hand-painted boxes for toys and bedding, rustic furniture, bowls and other kitchen utensils — all this and more will be on display at the Forum’s trade show.
And the high degree of workmanship will be very evident.
Vanderhoof-based craftsman Scott Weaver, for example, makes replicas of Caterpillar heavy equipment that feature 340-400 pieces for the track alone.
And his toy set, which won the people’s choice award at a wood forum held in Vanderhoof this summer, is complete down to the moving pistons on the wheels.
“He’s very detailed and intricate about everything,” said his wife, Candy, from Vanderhoof. Weaver’s work has become popular among those seeking gifts for employees about to retire or who have won safety awards.
Neil Wohlgemuth, who runs Fantasia Artworks out of Grande Prairie, dazzles people with his hand-painted boxes. Angels, roses, and birds are depicted on boxes for toys, clothing, and cards.
His larger items are made out of Peace country aspen while the smaller ones are made out of cherry and juniper woods found around the province.
Rustic furniture, made from birch, aspen, and so-called recycled wood is the specialty of Sandy Troudt and Meip Bergerjon, who operate Owl Hollow Willow Works in Fort St. John.
Willow comes into the name because that was the type of wood they were originally interested in working in. But they’ve since branched out so to speak.
What’s the appeal of rustic furniture? “I think partly because people are interested in natural products,” Troudt said. “The back-to-nature feel.”
Added to that is the natural appeal of wood. “Who cannot be affected by the beauty of wood?” Troudt said.
Masters of the lathe, Pat and Ilse Baker, who run Creative Woodworks out of Prince George, specialize in the kitchen Ñ spatulas, spoons, cutting boards, rolling bins, and especially bowls of all sizes.
Indeed, the Bakers have raised the commonplace into something of an art form Ñ two years ago they came away from the wood forum in Houston with a first and second prize in the home decor and value added categories.
But like the many who will take in the trade show, to be held in the curling rink from Thursday, Sept. 14 to Saturday, Sept. 16, those in the trade show themselves will be interested in seeing what else can be made from wood.
“People will be astounded at what can be done with wood,” Wohlgemuth said. “The craftsmanship will be something else.”