This article first appeared in print in the February 2020 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
As Revelstoke grows and new builds pop up on every corner, homeowners are searching for ways to make their living spaces feel a little more like their own. Many are turning
to the multitude of immensely talented local craftspeople and artisans to fill their homes with custom wood furniture, artwork or architectural elements. We checked in with a few of these talented craftspeople to find out what they have to offer.
Ariel Hill is an extensively trained and accomplished Indigenous artist hailing from the Six Nations and Wikwemikong First Nations. By her description, Hill works with hot glass to create unique works that refl ect elements of the natural world. She says she’s interested in the intersection between elements of the natural world and how it relates to human experience.
Her pieces can be found in homes across B.C. and Alberta and in galleries in Nanaimo, Canmore, Ontario, Banff and our very own Art First! Gallery in Revelstoke.
Tomi Supinen is bringing the style and expertise of Finland to woodworking here in Revelstoke. Specializing in custom-made, authentic Finnish saunas, Supinen’s business TnT Saunahouse has handcrafted countless saunas across Europe and Canada. The saunas can be built to suit any space in an existing building or in a custom freestanding building.
Supinen also designs and crafts fine or rustic woodwork and furniture to suit customer needs. His creations are inspired by the Revelstoke landscape and made with materials sourced as locally as possible.
Callum McLeary’s work is incredibly diverse. From live edge slab furniture to contemporary or period home components such as mantles, staircases, and tables, McLeary can be found working away at many projects at once. He also specializes in historic recreations using traditional woodworking techniques. McLeary’s background is in residential construction and remodelling, but he now focuses his business, Birch Lodge Woodworks, around creating one-of-a-kind, commissioned furnishings either for private residences or public installations, often using salvaged materials.
Many in Revelstoke will recognize the distinct work of Kyle Thornley. Under the name Metal Mind Forge, Thornley specializes in contemporary fine architectural metalwork, sculpture, and unique home decor for home and business owners, contractors and designers throughout the interior.
Leah Allison has certainly made a name for herself as a highly-skilled glassblower in Revelstoke and beyond. A vibrant part of her community, Allison, specializes in functional glassware as well as sculpture. She is beginning to create larger, morehigh-end pieces for homes, starting with chandeliers made in partnership with metalworker Cajsa Fredin of Matsdotter Metals.
This chandelier was a collaboration between Allison and Fredin and was featured at Luna Fest. It now hangs in a Revelstoke home. Leah Allison operates Big Eddy Glassworks, a glass workshop and retail space in the Big Eddy.
Specializing in cabinets and custom furniture for homes, John Townley’s projects come to him primarily by word of mouth. He’s also completed live-edge tables, shelving installations and desks for clients like the Craft Bierhaus, The Village Idiot, Parks Canada and more.
Townley is most fascinated by the imperfections in wood. When opening up a log, he’s always excited to discover grains and colour that will enhance a project, often keeping pieces around the shop in anticipation of their perfect use. He says he spends time mixing and matching imperfections in the wood to produce something with cohesion and beauty.
With over 35 years of experience, Robert Whitehead’s talents as an artist really shine through in his high-end woodworking. His business, Whitehead Carvings, offers custom-designed relief carvings in doors, mantle pieces, posts and furniture, in addition to large-scale sculptures and chainsaw carvings. Whitehead Carvings designs are intricate, focusing on the beauty of BC’s wildlife and nature. While he’s based in Salmon Arm, he’s done a number of pieces for Revelstoke locals, including this carved door on a house off Airport Way.