Turner Entrance Project

1024 768 Thuja Wood Art - Reclaimed Cedar Furniture Wood Art Vancouver Victoria Gulf Islands British Columbia

This winter I was asked to do an entrance gate and fencing project on Salt Spring Island at the same residence where I have built a bench, and dining table with chairs in the past.   The property is lovely and on the water.

To enclose the inner yard the clients wanted a section of artistic fencing going between the main house and the studio/garage.  There was already a covered roof over a walk way between the buildings, so we decided to use the existing posts to define the fence panel and gate spaces.

The fence panels were built in place with top and bottom rails attached to the posts.  The top rail has a rabid on the back side where I set the top of each fence picket into.  Most of the fence dips beyond the lower rail so I just went behind it to a few inches off the ground (remembering to offset that lower rail the width of the pickets).  The pickets were mounted in a wide/narrow pattern.

I made the gates in my shop and brought them over to SSI to install.  The gates are my traditional hand split mortise and tenon joinery with pegs using roughly 2″ cedar split boards, with the same rabid on the backside for inserting the pickets as the fence.  I had Jeri from Thistle Rock Forge on Salt Spring Island custom make all the hinges and latches for this project.  There are two gates, the main entrance which is about 5′ wide, and a smaller 3′ side gate beside the back door to the house, which the clients use for access to their firewood.

After the gates and fencing were all installed I added some thin split cedar lines on the front surface of the fence and gates to give the fence a bit more movement and draw your eyes across it.  The clients decided not to stain the wood, but leave it to go silver over time.  Another great little project!

Turner Gate

A pedestrian gate made from hand split, salvaged red cedar.  This 5 foot gate is part of a longer fence that encloses a covered walkway.  Thin cedar strips are a continuation of the design in the rest of the fence.

Hope Bay Gates

This is a set of driveway gates that are meant mostly for walking traffic, but allows access for delivery vehicles by opening both gates.   Naturally curved cedar adds a beautiful and graceful design element.  Hand split, salvaged red cedar, with mortise and tenon joinery.

Split Cedar Gate

This is a simple split cedar ‘Z’ style garden gate, with a curved top and a little circular window cut into it.  Hand split, locally salvaged red cedar.

Sprung Gate Latch

Hand forged by Meska Ironworks, this sprung gate latch has a subtle twist and a small curl at the end of the handle.  30″ tall, with handles 5″ apart for spacing for 2 1/2″ wide gate.  These latches fit best for a 1 1/2 -2″ gap between the post and the gate stile. The catch […]

Sprung Gate Latch

Hand forged by Meska Ironworks, this sprung gate latch has a classic twist and a small spiral in the handle.  30″ tall, with handles 5″ apart for spacing for 2 1/2″ wide gate.  These latches fit best for a 1 1/2 -2″ gap between the post and the gate stile. The catch allows the gate […]

Sprung Gate Latch

Hand forged by Meska Ironworks, this sprung gate latch has a classic twist and spiral in the handle.  30″ tall, with handles 5″ apart for spacing for 2 1/2″ wide gate.  These latches fit best for a 1 1/2 -2″ gap between the post and the gate stile. The catch allows the gate to swing […]

Turner Gates

A small pedestrian gate with a fence that encloses a covered walkway.  Hand split, reclaimed red cedar.  Thin cedar strips are a continuation of the design from the rest of the fence.

Turner Fence

A hand split cedar fence that encloses a covered walkway between two buildings is constructed using salvaged red cedar.  Thinner cedar strips are used to create crossing lines that curve along the fence.   

Bowen pedestrian gate

This is a pedestrian gate that was part of a larger project, involving two other local artists.  Tracy Calvert made the stained glass panel, and Callum McKay made the stainless steel frame.  The gate is constructed using reclaimed red cedar, with mortise and tenon joinery.

Heartwood~ Do What You Love

In the fall I was asked to be apart of a workshop on making a living, while doing what you love, which is art!  The workshop was presented by the Heartwood Folk School here on Pender Island, their mission is: to teach practical, joyful, Earth-caring and community-strengthening CLASSES to adults and also younger folks.  Come learn about food […]

Turner Gate

A pedestrian gate made from hand split, salvaged red cedar.  This 5 foot gate is part of a longer fence that encloses a covered walkway.  Thin cedar strips are a continuation of the design in the rest of the fence.

Hope Bay Gates

This is a set of driveway gates that are meant mostly for walking traffic, but allows access for delivery vehicles by opening both gates.   Naturally curved cedar adds a beautiful and graceful design element.  Hand split, salvaged red cedar, with mortise and tenon joinery.

Split Cedar Gate

This is a simple split cedar ‘Z’ style garden gate, with a curved top and a little circular window cut into it.  Hand split, locally salvaged red cedar.

Sprung Gate Latch

Hand forged by Meska Ironworks, this sprung gate latch has a subtle twist and a small curl at the end of the handle.  30″ tall, with handles 5″ apart for spacing for 2 1/2″ wide gate.  These latches fit best for a 1 1/2 -2″ gap between the post and the gate stile. The catch […]

Sprung Gate Latch

Hand forged by Meska Ironworks, this sprung gate latch has a classic twist and a small spiral in the handle.  30″ tall, with handles 5″ apart for spacing for 2 1/2″ wide gate.  These latches fit best for a 1 1/2 -2″ gap between the post and the gate stile. The catch allows the gate […]

Sprung Gate Latch

Hand forged by Meska Ironworks, this sprung gate latch has a classic twist and spiral in the handle.  30″ tall, with handles 5″ apart for spacing for 2 1/2″ wide gate.  These latches fit best for a 1 1/2 -2″ gap between the post and the gate stile. The catch allows the gate to swing […]

Turner Gates

A small pedestrian gate with a fence that encloses a covered walkway.  Hand split, reclaimed red cedar.  Thin cedar strips are a continuation of the design from the rest of the fence.

Turner Fence

A hand split cedar fence that encloses a covered walkway between two buildings is constructed using salvaged red cedar.  Thinner cedar strips are used to create crossing lines that curve along the fence.   

Bowen pedestrian gate

This is a pedestrian gate that was part of a larger project, involving two other local artists.  Tracy Calvert made the stained glass panel, and Callum McKay made the stainless steel frame.  The gate is constructed using reclaimed red cedar, with mortise and tenon joinery.

Heartwood~ Do What You Love

In the fall I was asked to be apart of a workshop on making a living, while doing what you love, which is art!  The workshop was presented by the Heartwood Folk School here on Pender Island, their mission is: to teach practical, joyful, Earth-caring and community-strengthening CLASSES to adults and also younger folks.  Come learn about food […]

Handsplit cedar fence extension

This little fence extension is part of a much larger fencing project I did a couple of years ago.  The owner decided to add 3 more sections to follow the property line to the neighbours driveway and define a patch of forest in the corner of his property.  The fence is built to match the […]

Bluenose Schooner driveway gate project

The Bluenose Schooner entrance project includes driveway gates and a pedestrian gate, all made of reclaimed and locally salvaged red cedar driftwood.  The client is a boat captan who lives on Schooner Way, here on Pender Island.  He naturally wanted me to carve the iconic Canadian Bluenose Schooner (as you will see on the dime) […]

Storm’s End Address Sign

If you were visiting Pender Island and eventually found your way to Storm Cresent you would find a short dead end road with a few water front houses at the end.  One of them is called ‘Storms End’, a witty pun on both the name of the road and the exposure to winters wrath.  I […]

Bowen Driveway Gates

These driveway gates are part of a large project involving two other local artists.  Tracy Calvert created the stained glass panels, and Callum McKay made the stainless steel frames for the glass as well as the hardware.  The gates themselves are made with reclaimed red cedar, and constructed using mortise and tenon joinery.

Groundwork- Building with Cob Documentary

Some time ago, I was asked if I would be willing to talk to a film crew who were making a four part short documentary series on various natural building, with a focus on the home owners and builders and their inspiration for making natural building their choice for construction.  I were quite happy to […]

Bluenose Gates

A hand split cedar pedestrian gate with an arbour as part of a driveway set.  A solid design made of salvaged cedar is given a creative flair with a carved design of a west coast landscape.  The arbour over the top of the gate has the carved address in a piece of unsplit cedar driftwood.

Bluenose Gates

Hand split, salvaged red cedar gates make for a solid set of driveway gates with a pedestrian gate on the side.  An enlarged carving of the Bluenose schooner adds a creative, local (and national) themed feature for this ocean side property.

Rosemarkie Cedar Address Sign

I am just so grateful for all the excellent and fun projects I regularly get commissioned to design and build.  This is one of the latest projects, an address sign here on Pender Island.  The sign is a little bigger than some others I have done to accommodate the large embossed carving that is based […]

Cedar Fence

This cedar fence is made with salvaged hand split red cedar.  Thick and thin fence boards make for a solid design intended for privacy, and the curved pickets at the top with matching curved detail along the fence add an artistic element.  The posts are mounted on saddles embedded in concrete, keeping the posts off […]

Storm’s End sign

A hand split address sign made from salvaged western red cedar, and hand carved with a tree design that was requested by the clients.  Oiled and stained with a natural oil finish and installed on rocks with rebar.

Cowan Coffee Table

Another great project.  This one was made with love for friends on Salt Spring Island.  This is a custom coffee table – 4′ long, by 32″ wide and 16″ tall, with a shelf underneath.  The wood is all salvaged red cedar driftwood except for the 2 pieces I used for the shelf which were cedar […]

Jago Coffee Table

This small coffee table measures 2′ square and is made with hand split, salvaged red cedar.  Constructed using mortise and tenon joinery and finished with OSMO natural wood finish, this little table is the perfect size to hold books and mugs in a cozy living room.

Rosemarkie Sign

This address sign features a pre-Celtic design requested by the clients.  It was decided that an embossed carving would be a more appropriate way of creating the various lines and curves of the design, and so when constructing the boards for the sign face, a thicker middle piece was selected to allow for the cutting […]

Cedar Bench

This is new hand split cedar bench I made for a client on Salt Spring Island this summer.  It was commissioned to sit in a special garden in memory of a loved one.  I love these projects.  They mean so much to me and the clients.  Its very satisfying to create something that will help […]

Cowan Coffee Table

A coffee table made from salvaged red cedar, hand split and consturcted with mortise and tenon joinery.  This table measures 3 feet long and 1/12 ‘ wide and has an low shelf underneath for books.  The natural curve of the split wood is uniquely accented in the legs, while the natural colour variation is displayed […]

Jago Coffee Table

This was a fun little project for a local couple here on Pender Island.  They needed a small coffee table but also wanted something artistic.  So I used some very unique pieces of red cedar that I found which have amazing colour patterns for the top of the table and fun curved pieces for the […]

The Offering

 This collaborative art piece called The Offering was done with Lenka Suchanek of White Rock, BC.  Lenka works in the centuries old European techniques of handmade bobbin lace and needle lace, bringing them to life in pictures, sculptures and wearable art. Specializing in metal lace, she uses fine wires of copper, bronze, steel, and precious metals […]

Cedar Bench

This cedar bench was commissioned to commemorate a loved one, hence the name ‘Vin’ was carved into the back rest.  Made from salvaged red cedar from the beaches of the BC coast, and constructed using mortise and tenon joinery, this bench now sits in a lovely garden setting.  The bench is finished with OSMO exterior […]

From the Woods- A collaborative art show

Colin’s sculptures and furniture were once again shown at Pender’s local winery, Sea Star Vineyards, alongside four other Pender artists.  The June 23-25th show titled ‘From the Woods’ featured paintings by Kim Pollard and Carol Davidson, wood turning by Robert Wilman, and multi-media creations by Bea McDowell, which filled the gallery space provided by the winery […]

Sculpting with Amber Briglio Photography

Sculpting Fire Dance II with a local photographer~ I had a great time this past spring working with a photographer who was interested in following the start to finish process of a sculpture.  Amber Briglio came for a couple of hours 3 times over the course of a week or two to capture images from […]

The Offering

A new collaborative piece with Lenka Suchanek, Way Of Lace~ “The Offering”. Lenka designs and creates images using metal wire, an ancient craft of lace work. In the Mandala, the energy radiates from the centre, which represent depths of the earth (stones and crystals) and the ocean (bamboo coral and shell). Three colours of water […]

Rose Trellis

A free standing trellis for a climbing rose made from reclaimed, hand split red cedar.  This trellis has been installed using a metal saddle imbedded into concrete to keep the supporting post dry throughout the winter.

Magic Lake Gate

This is a new hand split gate for a client who had some fencing built a few years ago, and wanted to upgrade the old gate to one which would match the style of fence.  Made from reclaimed red cedar and constructed with mortise and tenon joinery, this gate has been left without a finish, […]

Laughing Tree Cedar Sculpture

SOLD~ This red cedar sculpture of a tree ended up having a smiling face on one side!  A result of the relatively unplanned carving process, the Laughing Tree came to life towards the end of the shaping of the boughs due to a small soft area that needed to be removed.  The base of the […]

Fire Dance II

SOLD~ A free form sculpture made from salvaged red cedar and finished with a natural oil finish.  Curves and twists have a muscle-like quality and the glow of the oranges and reds with deeper shades of dark brown evoke a fiery feel.

Japanese Fence Bamboo Garden Project

This winter I had the opportunity to build a very unique fencing project on Pender Island.  A new client had planted a bamboo grove on their forest property but was having issues with the deer eating the young bamboo (which they normally do not eat) so called me to talk about fencing the grove.  We […]

Paw Print Sign

A custom address sign for clients who love their animals~ a cat and a dog that are good friends find their way together across the face of this hand split cedar sign.  Reclaimed red cedar, hand split and sealed with a natural cedar finish.

Four red cedar frames

Local artist Celine Wilde had four red cedar frames made for her collection of enchanting portraits!  Read more to see the other paintings…

FESTOOL

This blog is about some of the electric tools that I use (I do most of my work with hand tools).  I discovered the Festool brand from Germany many years ago through Lee Valley, Canada’s largest supplier of Festool products.  Festool is a very good brand with high standards and well designed tools.  They also […]

Fairy King Frame

This painting was done by a neighbour, Celine Wilde, after she saw the Fairy King Throne.  She wanted a frame to go with it, and after that we decided that we needed to buy it from her!  Thanks Celine!

Hand Forged Cane Bolt

This hand forged cane bolt made by Justin Urbantas of Meska Ironworks is for a double pedestrian gate, keeping one gate securely closed unless the extra space is needed for a wheelbarrow or other gardening tools.  The cane bolt is lifted and rested in the metal piece above.

Hand Forged Gate Hinges

    These hand forged gate hinges were made by Justin Urbantas of Meska Ironworks.  A set of four fits the two saloon style pedestrian gates of this project.  

Hand Forged Sprung Latch

This sprung latch was hand forged by Justin Urbantas of Meska Ironworks, following the design of all my custom sprung latches.    

Bamboo Garden Fence

This fence enclosure is built to hold a future bamboo garden within a west coast forest.  The fence panels are constructed with salvaged red cedar grapestake pickets with 1 inch bamboo in a wide spacing to allow for visual openness between the forest and the bamboo plants.  The back section of the fence is more […]

Bamboo Garden Fence

This fence enclosure is built to hold a future bamboo garden within a west coast forest.  The fence panels are constructed with salvaged red cedar grapestake pickets with 1 inch bamboo in a wide spacing to allow for visual openness between the forest and the bamboo plants.  The back section of the fence is more […]

Bamboo Garden Fence

The fence enclosure is built to hold a future bamboo garden within a west coast forest.  The fence panels are constructed with salvaged red cedar grapestake pickets with 1 inch bamboo in a wide spacing to allow for visual openness between the forest and the bamboo plants.  The back section of the fence is more […]

Bamboo Garden Entrance

This entrance way opens into a future bamboo garden in a secluded west coast forest.  The arbour was designed to reflect a traditional Japanese style, with a large 4″ in diameter piece of bamboo sitting just below the top piece.  All wood is salvaged red cedar, and has been hand split to allow for the natural curves […]

Bamboo Garden Gate

These double pedestrian gates open into a future bamboo grove in a secluded forest.  Made from hand split cedar reclaimed from beaches, and assembled with mortise and tenon joinery.  These gates reflect the pattern of cedar pickets and bamboo that continues throughout the whole fencing project.

Reclaimed cedar dining set

Cedar is an amazing wood, and so versatile.  I have made many things over the years, but never a full indoor dining set.  Usually I make my furniture a little heavier as it is most often used as outdoor furniture.  This dining set was made to be inside, so I tried to keep the scale […]

Red Cedar Chair

These four red cedar chairs without arm rests are a part of a dining set which includes a dining table and two more chairs with arm rests, all of which are made from hand split salvaged red cedar and assembled using mortise and tenon joinery.  The seats have a subtle impression, and the chairs are […]

Red Cedar Chair

These two chairs with arm rests are a part of a dining set, which includes a table and four more chairs without arm rests.  The chairs are made entirely of salvaged red cedar, hand split and assembled with mortise and tenon joinery.  The seats are shaped with a subtle impression, and the whole chair is […]

Dining Set

A dining table and six chairs all made from salvaged red cedar, and assembled with mortise and tenon joinery.

Maryland Gate Project

Inspired by an earlier pedestrian gate that I made, a client commissioned me to build a similar style of gate for her landscaping project in Maryland.  This gate is made from salvaged old growth red cedar driftwood.  It is made with mortise and tenon wood joinery, glued and pegged.  This gate has the added feature […]

Kierans Fence Project

This is a great fencing project on Pender Island.  156′ long, it follows the driveway from near the road down into the yard and along the side of the orchard.  We started by working with the client to come up with something they really liked to meet their needs of privacy, function and art.  Then we dug […]

Library Sign

This is a great project I was asked to bid on for our local Library which needed a new sign.  They wanted something large to be easily read, but also with a roof and style that fits in with the surrounding nature of the spot.  I designed this sign which is 8′ tall with the […]

Herb Garden Fence

This little fencing project was designed to create a usable space where it did not exist before on a steep rocky slope.  The client wanted to have a herb garden just off their deck, but with the prolific deer on this island you have to fence everything.  They decided to do some simple stone terracing […]

Asian Gong Stand Torii Gate

This client liked another torii gate with large gong that I made a few years ago for an art show (see small photo on right) and so commissioned me to make a version which could be permanently mounted on the side of his deck across from the entrance to the house.  This piece is made entirely […]

Old growth cedar dining table

This custom dining table project turned out fantastic.  The opportunity to build an indoor dining table using hand split cedar is not common, but fits the westcoast look of many homes here.   The table top pieces are from a reclaimed tree on Salt Spring Island which has amazing live edge and insect lines.  I […]

Pond Arbour

This project is one that I have built on my own land beside our swimming pond.  It sits on a deck that we built over a large water cistern where we collect our spring water for domestic use as it flows into the pond. The arbour is made from reclaimed and salvaged red cedar driftwood […]

Pearson Memorial Bench

I was recently commissioned to build a memorial bench for a couple who were heavily involved in the building of our local community hall on Pender Island.   This bench, like all of my work, is made from all salvaged and reclaimed red cedar driftwood that I split by hand.  I like to leave sections of the […]

Library Sign

A new sign for the Pender Library evokes an old feel with red cedar pickets and a hand split cedar shake roof.  The wood salvaged from local beaches was hand split and the lettering hand carved and painted with high quality sign paint.

Swinging Bench

I have wanted to build a swinging bench for many years,  having always loved the feeling of the gentle movement.  I had even already contemplated many different designs for a bench with a little roof over it. This year I finally got a commission from a client to build a swinging bench and throughly enjoyed […]

Swinging Bench

A hand split cedar bench swings from this free standing structure, constructed with mortise and tenon joinery and sheltered with a cedar shake roof.  A few sections of naturally aged silver cedar on the back of the bench and the posts are highlighted with the smoothly finished and oiled frame and bench.  A single plane […]

Pondside Arbour

A small deck beside the pond is enhanced by this arbour, which will eventually support a grape vine to create shade and an intimate place for relaxing.  Hand split, reclaimed cedar posts and rails are left rough to show off the natural curves and unique shapes of the wood.    

Maryland Gate

This hand split cedar pedestrian gate adds an entrance way to the front of the house, separating the space from the car port.  The copper and rolled iron decorative metal work was inspired by a previous custom gate.

Pearson Memorial Bench

This bench was commisioned as a memorial bench for a local couple who contributed to the building of the community hall.  Made from locally salvaged red cedar, hand split and constructed with mortise and tenon joinery.  The engraving was hand drawn and carved, then painted using high quality sign paint.  

Kieran’s fence

A solid hand split cedar fence with a simple flowing line running through the middle of the grapestakes.  The top of the boards have also been cut and edged with a similar undulating line just below the top most rail.

Kieran’s fence

A solid hand split cedar fence with a simple flowing line running through the middle of the grapestakes.  The top of the boards have also been cut and edged with a similar undulating line just below the top most rail.

Herb Garden Fence

Here is a small enclosure for an herb garden, accessible from the existing deck of the house.  All the wood is salvaged cedar split by hand, with posts set on saddles to protect the wood from moisture.  The pickets are spaced lightly, topped by a curving line under the uppermost rail.  The back side of […]

Chinese character sign

A simple slab of reclaimed red cedar is inscripted with Chinese characters for a bed and breakfast.  The translation is a play on the word, “heirloom”, for the heritage building, except that the translation is “heir-rooms”.

Red Cedar Gong Arbour

This gong from Asia hangs from naturally curved red cedar, which was salvaged from west coast beaches and hand split.  The gong stand is assembled with mortise and tenon joinery, and pegged with hardwood dowels.

Red Cedar Dining Table

A dining table made from salvaged red cedar, hand split and assembled with mortise and tenon joinery.

Red Cedar Dining Table

A dining table made from salvaged red cedar, hand split and assembled with mortise and tenon joinery, featuring live edge highlights.

Four Bedside Tables

Two pairs of bedside tables- each one uniquely made from reclaimed hand split red cedar.  These little tables are all 18″ deep by 28″ tall, with the small ones 12″ wide and large ones 30″ wide.  They are meant to go on either side of the bed in both master and guest bedrooms.  The client specifically […]

Bedside Table

A set of two bedside tables made from salvaged red cedar.  The drawer, posts, and shelves have been sanded, and everything has been coated with a natural oil finish.  The table top is Environite, made from recycled glass in Victoria, BC.

Small Bedside Table

                A small bedside table made from salvaged, hand split red cedar and coated with a natural oil finish.  The posts and shelves have been sanded smooth, and the walls have been left with the hand split texture.  The table top is Environite, made from recycled glass in […]

Bedside Table

A bedside table with a top drawer, all made from salvaged hand split red cedar and finished with a natural oil coating.  The drawer, posts, and lower shelf have all been sanded smooth.  The table top is Environite, made from recycled glass in Victoria, BC. This table is 18″ deep by 28″ tall, and 30″ […]

Bedside Table

A bedside table made from salvaged, hand split red cedar.  The shelves and posts have been sanded smooth and protected with an oil finish.  The table top is Environite, made from recycled glass in Victoria, BC.  This table is 18″ deep by 28″ tall, and 30″ wide.  Custom sizes are available.

Ascension Sign

Ascension sign- Here is a sign I recently carved for a new business, Ascension Room, a space providing Holistic Health and Wellness for community members and visitors on Pender Island, BC.  The sign is a replication of the business logo- a leafy stem gently bending to create a ying yang design in a circular space.  The […]

Ascension sign

A simple cedar sign for a local business made to replicate the business logo.  This green stained yin yang based symbol hangs outside a wellness studio, and is carved on both sides.  

Georgia Wynd Address sign

  This address sign turned out very nicely with the curves leading into each other from the posts through the cap.  It is made from all reclaimed old growth red cedar I salvaged from local beaches and then split by hand.  When you split red cedar it follows the grain so any curve that naturally […]

Georgia Wynd Sign

An address sign made with salvaged red cedar and mortise and tenon joinery.  Hand split, sanded, and oiled with a natural protective finish.  The address and tree design has been carved and painted with high quality sign paint.

K&N Bench

This hand split cedar bench was designed to be a little more reclining for the relaxing enjoyment of the owners while they look out over the ocean view.  They also asked me to carve their initials into the back of the bench (like lovers would do…) and this personalizes it very nicely.  For this bench […]

Greenhouse pad with drystack stone steps/walls

Recently, I was asked to help prepare for a greenhouse that is going to be added to this garden where I have done other stone work and building projects over many years (see my last blog entry update on the older stone walls and shed in the same garden).  The greenhouse sits on this level […]

Drystack Garden Wall

Revisiting a garden in which I have worked over the years is always rewarding.  Stone steps are gradually welcomed by creeping plants and the fronds of nearby bushes.  Crevices in garden walls become homes for trailing succulents and tucked ornaments.  Vines utilize posts and screens as support, and in return, shower shade and flowers over […]

K&N Bench

Details of the back rest of this hand split cedar bench include a natural hole in the grain, and carved initials of the owners.  Coated with Cedar Seal, a natural outdoor protection to help keep the cedar colour vibrant.

K&N Bench

A hand split red cedar bench showing the back piece left “raw”, as it is found on the beach.

K&N Bench

A hand split cedar bench offers a rest with a view over the ocean.  Made using mortise and tenon joinery, and coated with Cedar Seal, an outdoor protection designed to keep the colour of the cedar vibrant.  A small carved inscription of the owners’ initials adds a personal note.

Greenhouse Pad

A graveled area for a future greenhouse is bordered by a small stone edge.

Drystack Stone Garden Wall

A long drystack stone garden wall gives more usability to this sloped and rocky property.  Steps at one end lead to a water collection system and a bench built into the middle of the wall provides a place for resting.

Stone Bench

A stone bench built right into this drysatck stone retaining wall offers gardeners and visitors a place to rest and enjoy the bounty of nature.

Stone Stairs

These stairs have been in place for a few years, and are looking more and more naturalized with the growing of various plants between them.

Drystack Stone Steps

A small set of steps leads to a different section of the garden from the greenhouse, giving more usability to the sloped terrain of the property.

Stone Garden Wall

A drystack retaining wall in this garden is built with local sandstone and has a set of stairs at one end leading to a water collection system.

Drystack Stone Steps

A set of drystack stone steps leads up to the site of a future greenhouse.

Linghza Tree

  SOLD– The Linghza Tree is carved from salvaged red cedar driftwood.  Both the tree top and the base are red cedar, but the top is a darker grey colour of cedar that I find once in awhile, appearing as if it has been stained by iron, but the whole log is like this. When […]

The Offering

SOLD–  The Offering is a collaborative project with lace artist Lenka.  “Inspired by the tree of life, we are looking into the heart of nature’s beauty with the ‘Offering’.  Pure and natural, following the grain, following the pattern, to understanding and harmony – a gift for all of us.” Here are some photos of details.

The Offering

SOLD–  The Offering is a collaborative project with lace artist Lenka.  “Inspired by the tree of life, we are looking into the heart of nature’s beauty with the ‘Offering’.  http://lenkas.com/ This piece is made with reclaimed cedar driftwood and metal lace.

Waves

SOLD– Undulating lines of lace waves shine silver in the moonlight, which is reflected in the silver tones of driftwood on the frame.  Nature’s simple beauty caught for a moment in wood and metal.  Red Cedar frame and metal lace done by Lenka~ http://lenkas.com/  

Collaborative Art Project with lace artist Lenka

Lenka Suchanek is a self-taught lacemaker and lace designer.  She works in the centuries old European techniques of handmade bobbin lace and needle lace, bringing them to life in pictures, sculptures and wearable art. Specializing in metal lace, she uses fine wires of copper, bronze, steel, and precious metals to create unique pieces that are […]

Spirit Tree

SOLD Spirit Tree- A red cedar sculpture carved from driftwood.  Stands approximately 2′ wide and tall.  Four separately carved and mounted tree tops’ are a darker grey colour of cedar found on the beach and then stained with a slight bit of green pigment in with the natural oil finish.

Transition- Cedar Sculpture

SOLD~Transition- A cedar sculpture standing about 4 feet tall and mounted on sandstone.  Sections of natural grey are highlighted within the sanded and stained colour tones of the cedar.

Beachfire- Cedar sculpture

SOLD Beachfire- Salvaged red cedar driftwood carved to enhance the natural curves of the wood.  Standing 3 feet tall and mounted on a sandstone base, Beachfire has been sanded and oiled in contrast with a naturally weathered face on one side.  The back has a gentle concave curve, and is also sanded smooth and oiled.  […]

Unfurl- Cedar Sculpture

SOLD Unfurl- Carved from red cedar, this sculpture, reminiscent of a fern frond, stands one foot tall and is mounted on a sandstone base.  Oiled with Landark, a blend of natural oils, which brings out the colour and grain patterns of the cedar.  $300.

Beachfire- Cedar Sculpture

SOLD Beachfire- Salvaged red cedar driftwood carved to enhance the natural curves of the wood.  Standing 3 feet tall and mounted on a sandstone base, Beachfire has been sanded and oiled in contrast with a naturally weathered face on one side.  The back has a gentle concave curve, and is also sanded smooth and oiled.  […]

Firedance- Cedar Sculpture

  For Sale~ A cedar sculpture made from salvaged driftwood.  Smoothly sanded natural curves contrast with a small section of weathered exterior.  Mounted on sand stone, stands 1 foot tall.  Oiled with Landark, and natural blend of oils.  $425.

Cedar gate and fence

Cedar gate and fence with a four post arbor- all hand split and mounted on saddles.  A curving cedar line connects through the gate for a wavy effect.

New Cedar Sculptures

Colin has been busy making new cedar sculptures for Art Off the Fence, an annual art show on Pender Island July 18 & 19~  All sculptures are made from reclaimed cedar driftwood and stained using a natural oil blend ready for indoor and outdoor settings.  Details for each sculpture can be found in the sculpture […]

Airy cedar fence

A long and airy cedar fence provide deer protection from the garden with out becoming a visual barrier.  Curving cedar highlights unify the length of the fence.

Cedar Arbor

This hand split cedar arbor extends the entrance into the garden.  Four posts mounted on saddles, with five cross pieces gives lots of climbing space for roses, clematis, kiwi’s, grapes… climbers of any kind.

Whiskey Point sign

This address sign was custom made for some clients on Vancouver Island.  The Whiskey Point sign is made from all reclaimed old growth red cedar that I have salvaged from local driftwood, and was constructed using traditional mortise and tenon joinery with hand split cedar wood.   The central area for the address was sanded smooth […]

Fleming Entrance Gate

A hand split cedar pedestrian entrance gate leads to the garden from the road.  A light and airy design welcomes visitors with beach salvaged red cedar.

Fleming Fence Project

Over the winter this year I built a nice custom fence for my neighbours parents here on Pender Island.  The Fleming fence project consists of a 100 foot long custom hand split red cedar fence, with 2 four post arbours and gates in the fence, and a 2 post arbour with a gate as a […]

Cedar Stool

This cedar stool was a fun project for a local couple here on Pender Island.  They had approached me wanting a cedar stool to use in the shower and this is what we came up with.  The stool is made from all reclaimed old growth red cedar driftwood that I salvaged from local beaches.  It […]

Privacy screen / cedar gates project

I was lucky to be asked to contribute a privacy screen/ cedar gates to this new bed and breakfast project.  The Salmonberry Inn is located on South Pender Island and is a new luxury waterfront B & B.  My part is this project was to design a privacy screen and two cedar gates that fit […]

Climbing Plant Arbour

Here is a climbing plant arbour for supporting roses, clematis, or other vines.  Made of salvaged, hand split cedar.

Whiskey Point sign

The image of a heron graces this hand split cedar address sign.  Carved and painted, the address and heron sits on the smoothly sanded face of  the sign, while the naturally split frame offers texture and curves.

Whiskey Point sign

A close up photo of the engraved heron and address, which has been carved and painted on the smoothly sanded face of the sign.

Stainless Steel Gate Catch

Stainless steel gate latch in the closed position in the catch mounted on the gate post.  The catches can allow the gates to open both ways, or just one way and have a stopper.  These latches are designed for gates with wood or metal stiles up to 2″ thick.  This latch has a bigger spiral […]

Stainless Steel Latches

This is a simple sprung latch that mounts on the side of the gate stile and the catch is mounted on the post.  These latches work by pushing down on the handle releasing the latch from the catch, and when you close it the latch slides into the catch and holds firm in the closed […]

Sculpture 2

Sculpture #2 is carved from salvaged old growth red cedar driftwood.  I have left a section of the sculpture raw as it was found on the beach, with the silver weathered wood exposed.  The cedar varies in colour throughout the piece from light to dark.  It is mounted on a sandstone base.  The piece is […]

Tall sculpture

Sculpture #2 is carved from salvaged old growth red cedar driftwood.  I have left a section of the sculpture raw as it was found on the beach, with the silver weathered wood exposed.  The cedar varies in colour throughout the piece from light to dark.  It is mounted on a sandstone base.  The piece is […]

Stainless Steel Latches

Our new stainless steel latches are ready!  I have been working with metalsmith Callum McKay on Pender Island to design and build these new sprung latches for my projects.  These new designs are essentially the same design as the other forged metal latches I have done in the past.  They are a simple sprung latch […]

Short Cedar Stool

View of the back of the small stool made from salvaged red cedar.  The seat has been carved to give a slight seat shape, with an easy to grab handle cut into the center.  The angled legs make this short little stool very stable.  Hand split and sanded smooth, mortise and tenon joinery, with a […]

Short Cedar Stool

A small stool made from salvaged red cedar.  The seat has been carved to give a slight seat shape, with an easy to grab handle cut into the center.  The angled legs make this short little stool very stable.  Hand split and sanded smooth, mortise and tenon joinery, with a natural oil finish.

Driftwood Privacy Screen

This is a privacy screen separating two patio spaces at a local bed and breakfast.  The pickets and the frame are handsplit, salvaged red cedar with mortise and tenon joinery.  The rough, grey cross pieces are the outsides of the cedar as it is found on the beach, and reflects the lines of islands on […]

Small Driftwood Gate

Here is a small gate made with salvaged red cedar.  The frame and pickets are hand split, showing the beauty of the cedar on the inside, while the rough, curvy cross pieces show the outside of the cedar as it is found on the beach.

Pedestrian gate

This pedestrian gate is layered with the rough, weathered side of salvaged red cedar, left as it is found on the beach.  Pickets and gate frame are also beach salvaged red cedar- what is found on the inside.  Stainless steel gate latch is made locally.

Small redcedar table with recycled glass top

This was a combined project with my friends Kees Schaddelee and Des Carpenter, owners of the new Victoria business ‘Vittrium‘.  Vittrium make and install countertops made from 80% recycled glass called Environite.  I traveled for a year in a van driving all the way from BC to Costa Rica and back surfing our way along […]

Saaritalo Sign

Here is another sign that I made for a client on Pender Island.  The word SAARITALO is Finnish, and translates to ‘Island House’.  The clients have lots of native Arbutus trees on the property and wanted to feature some pieces on the sign (these are reddish round pieces around the lettering).  The sign itself is […]

Driftwood Sculptures

This summer I had the opportunity to experiment for the first time with doing some sculptures from the old growth red cedar driftwood I salvage.  I really enjoyed this and hope to do much more in the future.  Most of the design flows from the wood itself.  Like in my furniture, I decided that it […]

Stone Patio and Fire Pit

This stone patio with stairs and a fire pit was constructed in a flat area that previously hosted an old cabin.  This project is all made from sandstone placed on 2-4 inches of sand over landscaping fabric, spanning approximately 350 square feet. The fire pit is mortared with cement, but the patio is all tightly dry […]

Bowen Bench

A bench for Bowen Island- This is a custom commissioned 5′ bench made from salvaged old growth red cedar.  Made with mortise and tenon joinery with hardwood pegs.  I split the cedar by hand to get the shapes and sizes of pieces for the bench, then sanded each piece smooth to the touch so that […]

Cedar Table With Recycled Glass Top

A hand split cedar frame supports a beautiful table top made with 80% recycled glass.  Environite counter tops are made in Victoria, BC by Vittrium Building Products and are endurable, easy to clean, and come in a wide variety of colours.  $800.

Cedar Table With Recycled Glass Top

A mortise and tenon, hand split cedar table frame with an Environite top- a beautiful, endurable, easy to clean countertop constructed with 80% recycled glass.  Made in Victoria, BC by Vittrium Building Products.  For sale~ $800.

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Red Cedar Sculpture

SOLD~ A different angle of the sculpture- carved and sanded from red cedar that was found on the beach.  It is mounted on a block of sandstone, allowing the curve of the wood to continue down the side of the stone.

Stone Patio

This sandstone patio is dry fit with local sandstone.  It is just over 300 square feet and encompasses a built in fire pit at one side, giving plenty of space for chairs, tables, or a free standing hammock.  Surrounded by a young forest, this level spot provides a partly shaded place to keep cool in […]

Stone Fire Pit

The stone fire pit is 2 feet deep and 4 feet across, giving lots of room for a small warming fire or a larger burn of cleared materials.  A flat ledge provides a great perching spot with a small fire, or a summer bench on hot days.

Stone Patio and Fire Pit

A sandstone patio spanning over 300 feet and featuring a fire pit for winter warmth.  A few stairs follow the lifting contour of the land.

Red Cedar sculpture

SOLD~ A sculptural piece of beach salvaged red cedar carved and sanded following the naturally present shape and curves as it was found.  Mounted onto a stone with rebar holding it up as the sculptural wood flows down the side of the rock.

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Tracy’s Gate

This is a funky gate I made for a friend from hand split salvaged red cedar.  She does amazing stained glass work and is currently working on my Bowen gates project that should be completed this summer sometime.  This pedestrian gate is made with all mortise and tenon joinery.  The backside of the stiles and […]

Saaritalo Sign

An address sign made to fit in with our local arbutus habitat region- striking red’s and oranges, curving lines, and twisting branches.  Hand split red cedar adorned with arbutus branches, mounted on flat stones and rebar supports.

Hand split Asian Gong Arbour

I had a fun time making this torii gate and gong stand.   The design of the stand is based on the traditional Japanese torii gate, with a large top beam that curves upward on each end, and a smaller crossbar underneath it.  In Japan, this design is most often seen as an entrance to a […]

Bowen Bench- back

A natural grey left on the back side of the back rest of this simple bench design.  All the red cedar used is salvaged from beaches on the West Coast.

Bowen Bench

This four foot bench is made from red cedar, hand split and sanded smooth.  Mortise and tenon joinery with wood pegs.  A simple bench design perfect for any spot in the garden.

Asian Gong Stand

SOLD- A traditional Asian gong stand mixes a Torii gate design with a natural, west coast style- reclaimed red cedar driftwood that is hand split and assembled with wood pegged mortise and tenon joinery.  Natural curves and coloration complement this aged gong from Asia (with mallet and wonderful sound).  The wood is finished with Cedar Seal, […]

Six foot Bench

This is a custom ordered cedar bench I recently made for a client here on Pender Island.  It is 6′ long, and made all from salvaged old growth red cedar driftwood.  I used all mortise and tenon joinery with an exterior glue to help it last outside.  Cedar is so colourful, and you can see […]

Tracy’s Gate

A hand split cedar pedestrian gate made for an avid gardener.  Mortise and tenon joinery.

Single gate

A classic style “x” and picket gate ready to be installed.  Hand split red cedar with mortise and tenon joinery.

Colorado Gates with Arbour

A set of gates made to open wide enough for a tractor to access the orchard behind.  Gates open singly for a pedestrian.  Hand split cedar with mortise and tenon joinery.

Torii Gate with Bell- detail

A closer look at the design of the bell and how it is being held in place.  The wood holding the bell from either side has been simply cut to fit the curve of the ring, and are fitted into the posts with mortise and tenon joinery.

Torii Gate with Bell

A Torii style structure designed to hold an elaborate bell in a Japanese garden.  Variations in the natural colours of red cedar add to the simple design.  

Six foot Bench

A six foot long bench provides outdoor seating for three people.  A solid back, wide arms, and thick slabs give strength and durability to this bench.  Hand split red cedar in contrasting natural coloration add some interesting patterns to the basic design.

Nighthawk Hill Sign

A Conservation Covenant sign for a Pender property named Nighthawk Hill.  Red Cedar, hand split and assembled with mortise and tenon joinery, and hand carved and painted lettering and image.

Colorado gates

These hand split cedar gates double as a vehicle access and as a pedestrian entrance.  A good example of what can be shipped and reassembled, these double gates and arbour were made in my shop and then sent in pieces to Colorado.  All the wood is salvaged red cedar split by hand, and I used […]

Torii Gate with Bell

This project was commissioned by a client all the way across Canada in Nova Scotia.  The client had acquired a beautiful custom made bell that hangs from an elaborate metal chain and large ring.  He asked me to design a hand split red cedar structure from which to hang the bell in his garden.  He […]

Nighthawk Hill Sign

This handsplit cedar sign was built for a property called Nighthawk Hill with a conservation covenant recently placed on it.  It is a lovely property on Pender Island with a wonderful hybrid cob and strawbale house and beautiful gardens on an acreage.    The sign is made from old growth red cedar that I salvaged from […]

Drystack stone retaining wall

This was a fun project building a short retaining wall for wonderful new cabin on South Pender Island.  I used all local sandstone, which is nice to stack, and has beautiful colours.  The wall has a curve along the entrance side, which gives it more strength, but also diffuses some of the straight lines from […]

Signs for Hawaii

These are two signs that I recently made for a client in Hawaii.  They are both made from salvaged old growth red cedar that I have hand split.  The address sign is in the Japanese torii gate style with mortise and tenon joinery. Notice some joints are through tenons with hardwood wedges, and the top […]

Thuja Wood Art Featured in Aqua Magazine

Back in the fall, a local Pender writer came by for an interview with Colin for the Spring issue of Aqua Magazine, a Salt Spring Island publication that promotes the work of Gulf Island small businesses and artists.  It is such a honour to be recognized in this way in our broader community!  Thanks to […]

Japanese Character Sign

Hand split red cedar address sign.  Using the Japanese torii gate style, with Japanese characters for ‘Welcome’ carved and painted on.  Made from salvaged old growth red cedar, with traditional mortise and tenon joinery.  

Japanese Character House Sign

Traditional Japanese characters for family name carved and painted onto handsplit red cedar sign with cedar frame from salvaged cedar which has turned blackish.  Made to hang on the wall beside the home entrance.

Wave Wall

One section of a 150 foot long retaining wall- the wave design was created with blue-toned sandstone against orange and brown.

Driftwood Bench

A hand split cedar bench using one single piece of naturally shaped cedar as the back rest.  A roomy length of six feet fit a company of three or four folks comfortably.

Fairy King’s Throne

SOLD~ This hand split cedar chair, with naturally eroded spires evoking a fairy king’s throne, is currently for sale.  Sanded smooth and oiled with a natural oil finish, except for the front legs and the back of the chair, which have been left as found… grey, weathered, and aged with nobility.

Saratoga King Bed

A king size bed- the tall, hand split cedar and knotty pine headboard doubles as a room partition.

Saratoga Beach Custom Bed Project

This past August I was asked to build a custom hand split cedar bed for a client in Saratoga Beach, on Vancouver Island.  I have made beds before and was excited to design and build this king size custom bed.  The clients house is near the beach and finished on the inside with milled local […]

Wave Wall Project

This has been my biggest project this year by far taking over 3 months to complete.  This project is a sea wall designed to entomb an archaeological site discovered during the environmental assessment for a smaller sea wall project.  This bay and beach was once a seasonal First Nations village site I am told.  In […]

Fairy King’s Throne

This summer, during a wood collecting excursion, I found a single piece of cedar on the beach that was almost seven feet long and four feet across, but was only a width of six inches with a slight curve reflecting the circumference of what was once a very large and majestic tree. At one end, […]

Cattail Address Sign

Another address sign I made recently… This sign borrows the rustic torii gate style to get its main shape.  It is made all from salvaged red cedar driftwood that I split by hand.  This gives it that nice texture that you see in split roof shakes.  The joints are all mortise and tenon with wood […]

California Quail Sign

This sign project was fun.   I used some nice curvy red cedar for the posts and cap.  The sign is two pieces of cedar bookended to create a dark to light to dark effect that draws your eyes straight to the sign with the address and picture.  The client lives in Northern California and requested […]

Quail Sign

The image of the California Quail adorns this mortise and tenon address sign for a California property.

Hand Split Cedar Roof Shakes

Being a splitter of cedar by trade, Colin naturally decided to split all his own shakes for the roof of his new workshop by hand.  Having many piles of cedar already collected and in need of being moved out of his old working location gave Colin a good start at the job of splitting approximately […]

The Roof of the Cob Workshop

As we move into the first week of October, it remains the driest summer on record here on the west coast, parching the gardens, drying up wells, and raising the fire danger all around us.  The one thing that the clear sunny skies have been perfect for is drying out the cob walls of Colin’s […]

The Workshop’s Cob Walls

By early August, we were ready to begin adding the cob walls onto the stone foundations for Colin’s workshop that were built during July.  The door bucks were assembled and put in place, glass was gathered and waiting, the timber frame for the front door was built and  local clay, sand and straw was delivered.  […]

Cob Workshop- Stone Foundation

This summer, we have been focusing much of our attention on building a new wood working shop for Colin on our property.  His designs for a load bearing cob shop were approved by our engineer and permitted to build in early June.  Two weeks later, we had an excavator dig out 2 foot wide trenches […]

Cattail Address Sign

Hand split red cedar address sign with mortise and tenon joinery.  Address and cattail image carved and painted.

Pender Car Stop Benches

I had the great pleasure of being asked this summer to build a series of hand split red cedar benches for some of the most used local car stops on Pender Island.  The idea of car stops will most likely seem new to you, as it fairly new to us here on Pender Island.   A […]

Cob Building Workshop

COME COB WITH US! BUILDING A NEW WOODWORKING SHOP FOR THUJA WOOD ART  Come and build a cob workshop with us!  This summer we are offering an opportunity for learning about building with cobwhile constructing a woodworking shop on Pender Island.  Built onto a stone foundation, we will move through the process of mixing cob […]

Cob courtyard gate

This gate is at the top of another stone staircase down the lower field.  This simple Z style gate is made from recycled cedar driftwood, along with the roof that follows the cob wall. A truly sustainable project as the cedar, stone, and clay walls all come from Pender Island.

Towler bench detail

Here is a detail of the armrest and post on this split cedar bench.  Notice the coloration in the cedar, and the knot hole in the top of the post.  All the joinery is done by hand.

Towler Bench

Hand split red cedar bench that is 5′ long made from reclaimed driftwood.

Interior cob wall and sculpture

This picture shows a cob wall we did behind a wood stove to help retain heat.  It also acts a sculptural piece adding art to the living room!

Stone bench in drystack wall

Here is a very comfortable stone bench that I built into a drystack wall.  It is at the end of the stone patio beside the new greenhouse.  Made with local sandstone and no mortar.

Stone staircase with ramp

This client wanted to be able to wheelbarrow down the slope to the green house, but also wanted a grand staircase, so this is what I came up with…it works very well.

Drystack stonework detail

In this photo you can really see the care taken in dry stack stonework.  Each stone is fitted tightly, with small stones for chinking.

Drystack stone bench

Here is a close up of the dry stack stone bench beside the greenhouse.  Again you can see how well fit each stone is, and how the weight is always spread out with the stone above and around each one.  A big flat one provides a stable seat for the bench.

Greenhouse stone patio

In front of the new greenhouse we put in a sandstone patio on a bed of sand.  At the end of the patio you see the bench built into the wall and the bottom of the staircase up to the house.

Grand drystack stone staircase with ramp

This stone staircase tapers from about 8′ across at the bottom to 4′ at the top.  It has a ramp along the side for wheelbarrow access.  It is all made with drystacked local sandstone.

Curved top 4 post arbour

This 4 post hand split red cedar arbour is made from reclaimed driftwood.  The posts are up off the ground on metal saddles set in concrete.  Soon a large rose bush will be growing up over the top.

Cedar Rose Arbour

This rose arbour is made from reclaimed red cedar.  Split by hand and bent into this unique structure which will soon be covered with wonderful blooming roses.  It was mounted onto a metal saddle with bolts and keep it up a couple inches off the ground.

Custom sprung gate latch

Here is a beautiful and functional custom sprung gate latch made by George Hudson here on Pender Island.  Notice the catch has a stop on one side so the gate will only open one way.

Stranan Gates

Here is a close up of the hand split red cedar saloon style gates and arbour entering the Stranan property. The gates are all made with mortise and tenon joinery with pegs.  Notice all the posts are up off the ground on saddles.

Stranan Cedar Entrance gates

Here is another view of the hand split red cedar entrance to the Stranan property.

backside of Stranan Gates

This photo is from the backside of the entry gates.  You can see more of the fence framing.  I also decided to leave the silver driftwood side of the arbour piece visible for a contrasting look.

Cob courtyard on Pender Island

This cob wall is part of courtyard enclosing a garden on Pender Island.  We used 5gal. buckets to make the round windows, and I built a form to create the arched window.  The roof is all hand split red cedar from driftwood.

Cob Bench

This cob bench is part of a cob walled courtyard.  It sits under a deck beside the garden.  A drystack stone base, with a monolithic structure of local clay, sand and straw shaped by hand, and plastered with a coloured lime plaster.

Pare drystack stone stairs and garden wall

This project is a retaining wall, creating another garden bed above the existing garden into a stoney hillside.  The steps also lead up to the rainwater catchment tank for watering the garden at this off-grid site.

Pare drystack stone garden retaining wall

Still under construction, this is the first few feet of what is a 40′ long by 4′ tall drystack retaining garden wall with built in steps and bench in the middle.

Reclaimed Cedar Benches

Sit down and relax! Over the last year I have been enjoying making more furniture from the red cedar driftwood that I salvage off the beaches.  (and just in case you are wondering I do have a salvage and beachcombing license to collect driftwood) I love to collect interesting pieces of cedar driftwood.  Some have […]

Cob and Cedar Courtyard

I know you’re thinking, how do cob and cedar come together to make a courtyard?  This project incorporated three of my favorite things: cedar, drystack stonework, and cob.  This to me is an excellent example of how to build using local materials.  Everything in this project came from Pender Island. They say all good things […]

Stranan Entrance Gates

After completing the fencing section of the project last year, the Stranan’s asked me to add a hand split red cedar entrance with double gates under a curved arbour this winter.  The entrance is made from all reclaimed and hand split red cedar.  The entrance spans between the studio building and the existing hand split […]

Towler garden project

Here on Pender Island, BC we have some lovely gardens.  This project was aimed at enhancing a nice garden with a bench (for rest and relaxation), and two rose arbours (one small and one big).  Everything is made from reclaimed red cedar driftwood which I salvage myself. The bench is about 5′ long and uses […]

Garry Oak Conservation Covenant Sign

This sign is made from reclaimed red cedar driftwood.  All hand split, with mortise and tenon joinery.  The lettering is carved into the wood, then painted with a high end sign paint.  Each post has rebar drilled and hammered into it from the bottom, I then drilled holes in a couple rocks to act as […]

Garry Oak Covenant Sign

A close up detail of the lettering, carved and painted black.

Rose family covenant sign

This is another wonderful project done with our local Conservancy, and the Nancy Waxler Morrison Fund.  I have been making covenant signs here on Pender Island for 5 years now and each one is unique in its own way.  The Rose family have protected part of their property under a land covenant they called Garry […]

Pender style grand stone staircase and ramp

I recently was invited back to a previous clients place to do some more drystack stonework.  What a fun project it turned out to be.  Transforming the yard into a functional and wonderful place to be.  The clients had purchased a nice new greenhouse and put it up in pretty much the only good spot […]

Stranan Hand Split Cedar Fence Project

Another great local hand split cedar fencing project came my way this year.   This fence is made entirely from reclaimed and salvaged old growth red cedar.  I started by putting in the post saddles.  For the first time ever I had the help of post hole digger on a bobcat, which I must say really […]

Indoor Sandstone Hearth

A raised hearth provides easy access to the woodstove, and a warm spot to perch in the chilly winter months.  Local sandstone and detailed with small stones, this hearth is framed by a sculptured cob wall and snugged into an earth floor for a deeply natural indoor environment.

Indoor sandstone stairs

Local sandstone provides the beauty and smoothness of these indoor stairs leading down into a sunken living room.  Small stones add extra personal and artistic details to the tight fitting joints, which have been filled with grout and sealed for easy cleaning.

Car stop bench 2

Another small bench for those waiting for a ride at the car stop.Finished with a natural Landark wax to help protect it from the elements.

Car stop bench

This is one of the five benches that Moving Around Pender commissioned for the car stop program on the island… helping people move around without their own vehicle and on the generosity of those already driving by.  Have a seat while you wait for a ride.

Stranan Fence

A solid fence designed to create privacy, with small window sections of latice to help lift the solidity of the fence and add some interest to the design.

Mudie gates

Here is a unique hand split red cedar fence and entrance.  Double gates under an arbour bring you into the inner courtyard.  Notice the thin curved lines dancing across the fence…

Mudie fence

Inside the courtyard, this length of fencing provides an intimate enclosure from the road.

Mudie Fence Project

This is a close up of the curved line detail running thoughout the fence and gates.

Frog Song Forest Covenant Sign

This is a hand split red cedar sign, built in the Japanes Torii gate style for a local Pender Island land conservation covenant.

Sandstone indoor stairs and hearth

I have had the opportunity to do some showcase indoor stonework over the last year.  The first part is a sandstone staircase dropping three steps into a sunken living area.  The second part is a matching sandstone hearth for the fireplace in the living area near the stairs.  The stairs are built over infloor hydronic […]

Schaeffers Bench

Custom hand split red cedar bench 8′ long with mortise and tenon joinery on the main joints, screwed caps and pickets.  Sealed with Landark wood finish oil.  Notice the wonderful colouration of the cedar, some dark and some light.  My wife call’s this the piano bench because it looks like a keyboard along the back!

Schaeffers bench armrest wood detail

Close up of the amazing wood grain and colour in the armrest and cedar bench.

Welcome Address Sign detail

A closer look at the sign detail. Carved and painting with high end sign paint, note the bookmatched boards the lettering is on.

Welcome Address Sign

This address sign offers a hearty welcome in Japanese characters, to those entering the property.  The sign itself is a design based on a Japanese Tori gate, made with salvaged red cedar, all mortise and tenon joinery.  Note the different natural colours of the cedar.

‘Welcome’ address sign

This Japanese inspired address sign is styled like a Torii Gate (a traditional Japanese entrance to a sacred space) and ‘welcomes’ all to the property with the Japanese characters.  It was commissioned by a client in Guam and now adorns their driveway.  The sign is made from all reclaimed red cedar, split by hand, and […]

Schaeffer Bench Project

Earlier this winter while salvaging old growth red cedar I noticed one piece of wood in particular.  This piece had very unique feature in that the wood was both the normal redish colour, but also had a streak of dark, almost black running though it.  I have seen a few pieces over the years that […]

Frog Song Forest Covenant Sign Project

Kikuchi Family Land Conservation Sign My latest project this winter has been building a sign for a wonderful land conservation covenant on Pender Island,BC.  The Kikuchi’s, a local family here on Pender, have recently purchased a property with an amazing wetland full of biodiversity in order to protect it from any future development.  This project […]

Mudie Entrance Project

A Unique Hand Split Red Cedar Fence and Gates To keep me out of trouble this winter, I spent my time building a wonderful entrance and fencing project for the Mudie’s here on Pender Island.  As always, my favorite wood to work with is reclaimed red cedar.  I salvage the wood and split it by […]

Birdhouses

Handsplit Red Cedar Birdhouses So what does one do with all the scraps and left over pieces of cedar from bigger projects?  Well I have found many fun things to make out of those off-cuts.  I make picture frames, boxes, and birdhouses!   Even the birds sometimes like to live in fun and funky little handmade […]

Ramsey coffee table 1

This coffee table is made from salvaged driftwood, all hand split red cedar. This cedar has some amazing colour variations in the grain, brought out by sanding it smooth and finishing the table with an all natural oil stain (Landark – Tung and Linseed oils, citrus, pine rosin, and beeswax).

A Wilde composting toilet outbuilding!

The Wilde family gets a new outhouse… When my friend Celine approached with the idea of building a funky little structure to house their new composting toilet, I was interested right away.  I set about to design a structure that would look great and serve a multi-function in their garden near the house. The Wilde […]

Handsplit cedar bench ships in pieces with easy reassembly

Handsplit Red Cedar Bench This wonderful bench is six feet long and comfortably seats two or three people.  It is made from all salvaged red cedar driftwood.  There is no metal in this bench, as I used traditional mortise and through tenon wood joinery with wedges allowing the bench to be taken apart completely and […]

Colins bench

Here is a 4′ bench made of reclaimed red cedar, hand split with mortise and tenon joinery.

Cedar rail fence with double gates

This view shows the path down to the beach lined with a split rail snake fence on the rocks and double gates at the bottom, just steps from the ocean…

Birdhouse 3

Here is another fun birdhouse made from scraps of bigger furniture and fencing projects!

Vasilev Pedestrian Gate

Here is the matching pedestrian gate off to the right of the main driveway gates nestled in between the large old stone columns.

simple sprung latch

This is a simple design that works the best with heavy gates, a sprung latch which you push down on to pull the bar out of the catch.  Custom made by George Hudson on Pender Island, BC.

Four rail split cedar fence

This is your tradional rail fence, four sections high. Notice the posts are all off the ground on saddles, so they wont rot in the dirt.

All hand split cedar picket fence

another view from the road side of this all hand split red cedar picket style fence.

Hand split cedar fencing with gate and arbour

This picture shows the main entry gate with funky arbour from driftwood, and fencing made all from hand split red cedar.

Hand split cedar picket fence

This fence is made entirely from hand split red cedar salvaged from local beach.  Notice the posts are on saddles keeping them up off the ground so they dont rot.

Sprung gate latch with one way catch

This custom sprung gate latch is made to only swing one way as you can see with the catch.

Wildart Photography in hand split cedar picture frame

I made this hand split red cedar picture frame for Wildart Photography, whose picture is in the frame.

Custom sprung gate latch

This custom sprung gate latch was designed and built by George Hudson, here on Pender Island, BC.

Handsplit cedar entry gate

This is the entrance to a nice fenced side yard.  The hand split ‘z’ style gate matches the fencing, note the old metal grate built into the gate as a window.

Wave wall

Here is a sandstone retaining wall I did, look carefully for the wave hidden in the wall.  The wall is over 9′ tall in places and about 70′ long.  It is made from local sandstone from the same property, mortared in place to withstand the elements as it sits on the oceans edge on Pender […]

Wave wall in detail

This is a closer look at the wave hidden in this sandstone retaining wall I did just up from the oceans edge on Pender Island.

Double gates to the beach

These nice hand split red cedar double gates lead down to the beach.  They are made with mortise and tenon joinery and beginning to fade from the redish colour to a soft silver.  The reason for the double gates is that the owner stores his rowboat up off the beach in the winter, and with […]

Custom driveway gate hinges

This is one of set of four custom hand forged driveway gate hinges, mounted on handsplit red cedar driveway gates

Spiral gate latch

A funky spiral gate latch, hand forged, custom made for this project, with curved catch, mounted on hand split red cedar gate.

Curved gate hinge

This custom hand forged hinge was made by Cresent Moon Forge for one of my handsplit red cedar gates.  Notice the attention to detail in the curve that follows the wood and the hammered tails at the end.

Sun pedestrian gate

This pedestrian gate is part of a whole entrance with Sun driveway gates to the left of it.  Made of handsplit red cedar with mortise and tenon joinery.

Simple garden gate latch

This is a simple sprung garden gate hinge, custom made to fit the handsplit cedar gate.

Japanese Torii gate address sign

Using the design principles of a japanese Torii gate is one way to create a unique address sign.

‘Z’ style gate with metal grate detail

This ‘z’ style hand split cedar garden gate has a salvaged metal grate built into it as a bit of a window detail adding a unique feature to the gate.

Cedar fencing with lattice top

Fencing can provide many functions: keeping the deer out, looking beautiful, and in this case, also providing a lattice top for vines to grow up and along the fence, making it into a living fence, adding colour and beauty.

Vine arbour

This four post arbour was designed to have a beautiful wisteria plant grow up and over it, making a wonderful space to walk through, wtih flowers hanging down in the spring.

Cedar split rail snake fencing

Following the trail is a tradional hand split cedar snake fence.  This type of fence is a great way to create a barrier without it being tall and solid.

driftwood

froe and mallet

Pat’s red cedar table with live edge

A red cedar table with live edge.  This table was designed to live behind a couch which is why it is long and narrow.

Thuja Wood Art nominated for MISTIC award

What an honour to be nominated for one of these awards!  MISTIC (Mid-Island Science, Technology and Innovation Council) is a business resource group based in Nanaimo, BC,(one of nine region councils around BC)  who acts as the ‘first point of contact’ for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s), entrepreneurs, students, business persons and researchers seeking information […]

Cedar box 1

A beautiful cedar box using many different coloured cedar pieces.

Cedar box 2

This is a cedar box made for a wedding gift, it measures 6″ tall, 14″x16″.

Cob wall gate

This gate in a cob garden wall is made of hand split red cedar, nesting under the handsplit shakes which create a funky roof over the gate and walls.

Deep Cove- from the inside

The Deep Cove entrance from inside looking toward the road.  Notice the sweeping down section from the gate posts down the driveway to a short post which has a latch to hold the gates open when needed.

Double pedestrian gates

A new set of double pedestrian gates under an arbor creating an very Japanese style entrance to the garden, while keeping the deer out.

Dragonfly Frame

Here is a piece of collaborative art made between my wife Wendi and myself. I make the redcedar frames with mortise and tenon, and Wendi creates art inside them with copper wire, found beach glass, shells, stones, and beads.

Drystack stone patio and wall

Where the drystack stone wall meets the sandstone patio, the squash thrives…

Ferguson garden entrance

A garden entrance of all reclaimed hand split red cedar with mortise and tenon garden gate.

Garden arbor with gate

This garden arbor leads into the garden, through a hand split cedar gate.

Drysatck stone stairs

Here is a flight of stairs leading up though a steep part of the garden.  They are done using only drystack method, with no cement.

Grapestakes over rock

Grapestake fencing following the rock along the back of the garden.

Harbour Hill Entrance

An entrance to the indoor/outdoor room, made of hand split red cedar, with ‘Z’ style grapestake gate.

Wavy wood small night table

A unique table, with wavy hand split cedar rails, and wonderful colour in the grain.

Night Table 2

Beautiful colour in this night table, made from hand split red cedar, with mortise and tenon joinery.

Rock Pond 1

A small pond, with sandstone rock around the edges overhanging the water to protect the pond liner. Drystack wall on far side acts as a bench.

Rock Pond 2

A small pond, with sandstone rock around the edges overhanging the water to protect the pond liner. Drystack wall on far side acts as a bench.

Sandstone Patio

Beautiful sandstone patio starting to get planted with thyme, drystack stone garden bed wall in the background.

split rail- 1 section

Split rail section, east coast style, supported by saddles to keep the cedar off the ground.

Split rail 3

A view of the rail fence following the driveway along the pond.

Stone step up onto patio

Stepping onto the patio from the path…

Drystack stone steps 1

Some drystack stone steps cut into the hillside…

drystack stone stairs 2

A couple of drystack sandstone stairs in the garden.

Wildart Photography Sign

Handsplit red cedar coffee table

Driftwood into furniture… Local artist Luke Ramsey and his partner Angie Conley were recently married here on Pender Island, and I had the honour of making a wedding gift for them commissioned by Angie’s family.  We decided on a coffee table, as it was something functional that they did not yet have.  It was hard […]

Tree Root Table

An outdoor dining table made from a salvaged red cedar tree root for the base and table top.

All handsplit cedar shed

Living in the garden on the Wilde Farm is this little shed I built entirely out of hand split red cedar, with a beautiful stained glass in the door by Celine Wilde.

Woodwinds sign

This is a sign for a local conservation covenant, made from reclaimed red cedar, with the lettering wood burned into the wood.

Land conservation signs on Pender Island, BC

The Pender Island Land Conservancy has asked me to do many signs over the last couple years that would reflect the wonderful lands that have been placed under covenants.  I am honoured to be able to help make these signs by using reclaimed red cedar that I have salvaged from right here in the islands.  […]

Live edge table on the Gulf Islands

New furniture made from reclaimed red cedar Pat is one happy lady these days.  She has a new table from Thujawoodart!  She lives on the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, Canada.  This furniture was designed to live behind her couch and hold pottery and flowers.  That is why it is 4′ long and only 15″ […]

Pender Island Handsplit Red Cedar Driveway Gate Project

Thuja Wood Art uses salvaged Red Cedar to build custom driveway gates and entrance. This project was an exciting collaboration with George Hudson, a fantastic local metalsmith.  I designed the woodworking for the gates to allow the handsplit redcedar to be joined with mortise and tenon joinery, then pegged with hardwood.  Then together George and […]

Cedar Bench

An Arts & Crafts inspired 6 foot bench of hand-split red cedar. All mortise and tenon construction. An Arts & Crafts inspired 6 foot bench of hand-split red cedar. All mortise and tenon construction.

Driveway Gate Latch

This driveway gate latch was made locally here on Pender Island by George Hudson of Hudson Weldform who I collaborated with on these gates.

Automatic Gate Closer

This is an automatic gate closer purchased from Lee Valley that seems to work well.

Vasilev Forged Gate Hinge

This is one of the handforged gate hinges from the vasilev entrance project. Made on Pender Island by local metalworker George Hudson, with whom I collaborated with on the the project.

Cedar Flower Frame

Here I have made a simple handsplit cedar frame in which Wendi has created this lovely wire and beach glass flower.

Cedar Door Sculpture

A little handsplit cedar renovation to small building and Shel now has an original art gallery in his back yard.

Cedar Sign – Thuja

This is the sign out in front of my workshop on Pender Island. Also made from handsplit red cedar with mortise and tenon joinery and hardwood pegs. The graphic I designed is woodburned into the cedar on both sides of the sign.

Cedar Sign – White Tara Healing Arts

This sign is made from old growth reclaimed red cedar with mortis and tenon joinery, bamboo, and woodburned lettering which I designed.

Cedar Sign – Conservation Covenant

This is a new sign i did recently for a local conservation covenant property on Pender Island. The letters are woodburned into the red cedar boards.

Cedar Bird Feeder

Handsplit cedar post with mortise and tenon joinery.

Birdhouse with Wings

This birdhouse has wings!

Stone Column

This stone column is part of a split rail fence that travels along the property line.

Kouf Stone Stairs and Terracing

This project on Pender Island consists of three stone walls creating a terraced garden space, and two stone stair cases leading from the house down into the orchird. Notice how at the bottom of this staircase is a bench built into the wall.

Stone Staircase

On the other side of the garden are these small funky steps leading down through the terraced garden.

Cob and Stone Garden Wall

Here is another view from the outside of the courtyard, showing a nice arch window (with the bracing still in place while the cob wall dries well, the high drystack stonewall acts as both a terrace to hold back the earth and a foundation for the cob wall.

Stone Garden Patio

Around the other side of Eli’s house is a nice flagstone patio, this one mortared.

Stone Path

This nice curvy path leads from the parking area to the house. The stone is all local Pender Island sandstone set on a bed of sand, (with landscape cloth, and compacted crushed rock underneath) and little cement and sand swept into the cracks to set the stones.

Cedar Artist Fence

This is a nice little section of fun.  An artist fence made from all hand-split red cedar.

Hand-split Gate

This is the entrance to the courtyard from the lower terrace, stone steps up to a hand-split gate under the shake roof.

Entrance Gate

Part of the entrance set this is the left side panel which sits up above a stone planter between two pillars. The design mimics that of the main driveway gates, all done in collaboration with local metal worker George Hudson.

Cedar Address Sign

Here is a hand-split address sign I designed and built with the numbers wood-burned into the cedar and a little roof.

Cedar Driveway Gates

Custom cedar driveway gates with flowing custom steel spirals.  All the hinges and rolled steel spirals and copper were hand-forged by George Hudson on Pender Island, Gulf Islands, BC. A close up of the detail and joinery showing hardwood pegs run through the mortise and tenon joints. The pickets and copper are attached in a […]

Garden Arbor and Fence

A view of the arbor and fence from inside the garden.

Sunrise Gates

This set of driveway gates was commissioned and designed to feel like the suns rays.   A very unique entrance to ones property.

Hand-split Grape-stake Fence

This fence shows how the wonderful and wavy qualities of the hand-split cedar grape-stakes can bring the fence to life.

Arts and Crafts Style Gate

An Arts and Crafts style was designed for these gates to go with the heritage house. All hand-split redcedar with mortise and tenon joinery, hardwood pegs. The hinges are all hand forged by a local blacksmith.

Cedar Split Rail Fence

Red Cedar split rail fence, done east coast style with rails slotted through mortises in posts which are set on saddles to keep wood off the ground.

Heart Cedar Gate

Hand-split cedar gate custom made for the Hart family in Victoria. Mortise and tenon joinery.

Bamboo Privacy Screen

I build many of these bamboo privacy screens. Handsplit redcedar frame with woven bamboo.

Cedar Birdhouse

Another funky birdhouse.

Cedar Box

Hand-split red cedar box with a tree that I designed and wood-burned into the lid.

Cedar Picture Frame

Hand split cedar picture or art frame, made with mortise and tenon joinery. Notice the wonderful colour variation.

Wilde Outhouse

This little building is all made from handsplit cedar (not a straight piece of wood in there) with salvaged window and custom stained glass in the door made by the client. The side with the large overhang houses many of the garden tools, inside is a composting toilet.

Cedar Arbor

This handsplit cedar arbor I made from book matched pieces of cedar split from one piece, and the top has a funky twist in it.  The gate was built by owner Wayne Lackner.

Cedar Z Style Gate

Handsplit cedar Z style gate with metal window detail.

Deep Cove Entrance

A view from the road of the Deep Cove entrance. All the wood is handsplit from redcedar driftwood with mortise and tenon joinery and hardwood pegs.  All the metalwork is hand forged by a local blacksmith, creating an entrance to a waterfront property with driveway gates, a pedestrian gate with an arbor, and fencing.

Cedar and Bamboo Garden Shed

This great little building has a hand-split cedar timber frame, as well as hand-split shake roof. I used local bamboo stalks and wove them to create walls.

Cedar Table

Detail of red cedar table legs, original design, all hand split, using mortise and tenon joinery with hardwood pegs.

Hand Split Cedar Japanese Torri Gate

Hand split cedar Japanese Torri Gate for a garden in the Gulf Islands, BC, made with mortise and tenon joinery, and hardwood pegs.

Custom Gate – Thieves Bay

What a difference do soil and plants make, bringing out the rich colours in the redcedar.

Custom Cedar Bed

This bed was custom made with love for guitarist Marc Atkinson commissioned by his wife for his birthday.  Made with reclaimed red cedar driftwood, the bed uses a combination of mortise and tenon joinery, with metal bed hardware from Lee Valley so that the bed will come apart quickly and easily.

Cedar Bench

One of four handsplit benches in a set.

Table and Benches

Cedar table and two of four matching benches.

AUTHOR

Colin Hamilton

All stories by: Colin Hamilton