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5 Toronto Woodworkers Making Heirloom-Quality Wares

You don’t need to go far afield – or far a-forest – to find incredible designers and woodworkers creating made-to-order furniture

By Gregory Furgala

For all the new materials furniture designers work with, from bioplastics to vegan leathers to reconstituted ceramic waste, there’s still something about old school hardwood that speaks to us. Don’t get us wrong – we love the new stuff. But its development and manufacture is often outside the scope of solo makers. A skilled and creative woodworker, on the other hand, needs only tools and a workshop to transform teak, walnut and oak into heirloom-quality furniture. As it turns out, Toronto and the GTA has more than its share of woodworkers capable of creating these gorgeous forever pieces. Read on to check out some of our favourites.

Toronto woodworkers

1. Setting the Bar

When treated with iron oxide, red oak develops a ruddy, patinated complexion. When Daniel Gruetter shapes it with mortise, tenon and an upholstered seat, it becomes an heirloom-quality bar stool. $2500, at DANIELGRUETTER.COM.

Toronto woodworkers

2. Aye Aye

Despite its commanding presence, Nicholas Hamilton Holmes’s rounded take on pin and tenon joints – which poke through the marble tabletop – gives his white oak Captain’s dining table a playful feel, too. From $3700, at HAMILTONHOLMES.COM.

3. Beneath the Surface

With bevelled legs, turned knobs and straight-lined design, Heidi Earnshaw’s made-to-order Half Hathaway strikes a minimalist pose that hides the complex joinery keeping it together. From $5400, at HEIDIEARNSHAWDESIGN.COM.

4. All of the Above

With its rigid white ash frame and pillowy leather upholstery, Atelier Arking’s Lami dining chair is equally at home as a statement piece, everyday seating or both. From $620, at ARKING.CA.

5. Sleep Like a Log

Kate Duncan’s Ribbed bed is inspired by brutalist architecture, but in lieu of cold concrete, you’ll find textured hardwood and, if so desired, details like brass pulls and leather-veneered fronts. From $18,000, at KATEDUNCAN.CA.


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