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John Matthews




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I am a retired palaeontologist.  My wife Beth and I live in Hubley, Nova Scotia. Ever since I sat in the attic of my grandfather’s house watching him build tables, I have been interested in woodworking, an interest fostered even more by my father's skills with wood.

Some of my shop time involves construction of tables, benches, cabinets, furniture and objects such as chess boards, cheese cutting boards etc.

But since coming to Nova Scotia I have become more involved in making various pieces from the wonderful driftwood found on the shores of St. Mary’s Bay and the Bay of Fundy.  Sometimes these pieces are made into whimsical walking sticks in which minimal carving and painting “reveals” an animal or imaginary character.  Other times I use driftwood and old worm-eaten  ship timbers for constructing small boxes. All of these boxes represent an incident or tragedy since the wood comes either from docks torn away during storms or ships that have foundered. Some of the planks I find are teak or mahogany and probably come from yachts.

Fossil Mammoth ivory, when shaped and polished, has a wonderful warm glow. Using only broken tusk scraps that have a weathered surface, I make jewelry such as pendants and pins.  Because the mammoth ivory is so old and weathered, grinding and polishing the pendants is always a challenge.

Nova Scotia’s  glacial history means that its beaches are littered with a great variety of rocks, many of which, when tumbled and polished are ideal for use as inlay on Mammoth ivory jewelry, but also on boxes and other objects.

In my shop I also construct the basic, shadow-box frames that surround Beth’s paintings.

The shop is located on the lower floor of the Shopudio.

Visitors are welcome.

About John Matthews: