George Wilkinson

 

Growing up in the family sawmill gave me a great introduction to the wood industry in Ontario. Sweeping the floors as a teenager helped set down the roots to my passion for wood. I spent 12 years as head sawyer learning to open the log in that special way that would release what nature had provided within. The thousands of logs that passed in front of me taught me how to recognize the subtle hints that the bark would give as to what lay beneath. This was in the day before debarkers and computer scanners that have taken away the need for highly skilled and intuitive craftsmen.

I spent many hours walking bush lots with my father and thanks to his expertise, learned most of what there was to know about buying standing timber. Whether a tree grew on a hill or in a gully could make all the difference in the quality of the lumber it would yield. Even the type of soil that the tree grew in made a huge difference to the natural colour of the wood. I now use all this experience to help my wood turnings be the best they can be.

I have enjoyed woodturnings for over 35 years and created unique gifts for friends and family; when I retired 3 years ago, I began Wooden Treasures by George.  I strive to make my hand-crafted woodturnings speak to and for the people who buy them; when you need to let someone know just how much you care, my work can speak volumes. I like to think of my creations as “presentation pieces” – unique pieces of wooden art. We are inundated with computer manufactured décor items today that have no heart and it shows. I take great pride in what I do and hand-sign every piece that allows me space. When creating a piece, I try to use as much imagination as I can and have been pleasantly surprised at the varied uses people put them to.

I create solid wood bowls, segmented bowls (segmented bowls are made of many individual pieces glued up to form a larger turning), vases and vessels, pens and a variety of small pieces. I also love to experiment with new ideas. Some of my recent pieces have taken more than 50 hours to complete.  I use no stains at all, only hand rubbed oil finishes with numerous coats of wax, which highlights the natural beauty of the wood.