Selkirk College fine woodworking building momentum for year-end show

Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Program is preparing for an impressive showcase of creative talent.

NELSON – Renowned in the furniture design and woodworking communities for the highly-skilled craftspeople it produces, the Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Program is preparing for an impressive showcase of creative talent.

A Nelson tradition, students in the Fine Woodworking Program will have their finished products on display May 26 to 28 at the Nelson Trading Company at 402 Baker Street.

Students in the nine-month program are encouraged to build what inspires them with instructors David Ringheim and David Stryck providing expertise and hands-on learning in the shop at Nelson’s Silver King Campus.

This school-year using marquetry to create images inlaid in wood was a shared practice. Avam Clausen-Muri turned his science fiction inspiration into a space ship inlay on a crafted table. Lauren Williams created a river flowing from rock across and off the side of her coffee table. As broad as their muse, Fine Woodworking students come from all over Canada; represent all ages and this year’s class is a 50-50 mix of men and women.

“With a lot of the trades there is that assumption that Fine Woodworking will be male dominated but that’s changing. And it’s great to see,” says Williams who came to Nelson from Edmonton to take the program. She had no prior woodworking experience.

Chantelle Howard is the youngest student in the class. At the recent Selkirk College graduation ceremony, the 18-year-old celebrated her college achievement before graduating from high school at Grand Forks Secondary in June.

She jump-started her career training through the Youth Train in Trades Program which allows high school students earn credits that count toward their high school diploma and Level 1 of their technical trades training. From Christina Lake, Howard has been practicing woodwork since Grade 8 both at home with her dad and in school.

“I would say that my dad is my inspiration. We work well together,” she says. “I had an amazing woodworking teacher at school as well. When I had the opportunity to be a Youth Train in Trades student and advance my skills, I took it! My family has been very supportive of me.”

Students in this year’s class have become a close-knit group, a good sense of humour among them, bonding as they learn. Five students from the 2017 class – Callie Modeland, Scott Stevens, Lauren Williams, Allie Chown and Lisa Henderson – will also be submitting their fine woodworking to the Fresh Wood Student Design Competition in Las Vegas in July.

The Year End Show will open on Friday (May 26) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be a reception open to the public from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with music and food, and the students and faculty in attendance.

The show will continue Saturday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Throughout the weekend, there will be students on hand to answer questions and talk about their experiences over the past nine months at Selkirk College. Some students will have their products for sale.