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Passion for Wood (Ontario)

Hendrik Varju, owner of Passion for Wood, is a fine furniture designer/craftsman. From his country workshop, most of his work is done on a custom order basis, with the client often getting directly involved in the design process. Of course, Hendrik also has a portfolio of past projects from which clients can choose and make alterations as desired. His style uses subtle designs to bring out the natural beauty of wood. Using only the highest quality materials, both solid wood and veneers (as appropriate), he uses time-tested joinery techniques such as mortise-and-tenon joints and hand-cut dovetails. Even where simpler joinery methods are required due to budgetary constraints, he ensures that all joints are strong and that every piece becomes an heirloom quality piece.

Although Hendrik has his own preferred style, he is not afraid to tackle new projects of a different style -- afterall, he is a custom furniture builder. He single-handedly takes the client through the entire design process, from initial brainstorming for ideas, to design work and drafting of plans, to planning of joinery methods, to the actual building, finishing and delivery. In fact, he prides himself on the quality of his work, both from an aesthetic point of view and in terms of structural integrity. He is well-versed in wood science and technology and takes wood movement into account in all designs.

Most of his work uses hardwoods, although softwoods are certainly an option. Some of the wood species he most commonly uses are: black cherry, black walnut, red oak, quarter-sawn red oak and red maple. However, he is open to working with any commercially available species and has also done work using Peruvian mahogany, European ash, Spanish cedar, western red cedar, aromatic cedar, clear eastern white pine, European beech and purpleheart. Although wood is obviously his material of choice, he has successfully used other materials in his designs as a complement to wood, such as cast iron, wrought iron, stainless steel and glass. He is pleased to work in collaboration with other artisans should the customer wish to design a piece that incorporates other materials.

In addition to designing and building new furniture, Hendrik takes on repair, refinishing and antique restoration projects, bringing new life to worn-out pieces. He will also build reproductions of well-known styles, one of his favourites being Arts-and-Crafts or Stickley style work.

Aside from his furniture design work, Hendrik also directs his energy towards teaching, which is one of his other passions in life. He provides private one-on-one woodworking instruction in his own workshop, giving woodworking enthusiasts the opportunity to build their own piece with his minute-by-minute guidance. His courses can be customized to each student's needs and he welcomes beginners as well as experienced amateurs. He also actively encourages women to get involved in his rewarding craft.

New to his teaching program, Hendrik now offers customized skills-based courses, also taught on a one-to-one basis. The student can choose from a long list of possible skills components, piecing together a customized course that can last from 5 days to 25 days or more. Hendrik teaches the student about furniture design, wood science, use of woodworking machines, joinery methods, strategies to achieve high quality work, staining and finishing skills (including French polishing), and more. It is a wonderful, intensive experience in which the student lives and breathes fine woodworking for a serious block of time.

To summarize, Hendrik loves his work and is a true craftsman as a result. He enjoys the entire process of creating heirloom quality furniture and sharing his knowledge with others. His mission statement is as follows:


My primary mission is to provide discriminating consumers with fine furniture and decorating accessories of unsurpassed quality, and to do so with honesty, integrity and professionalism. Superior service is my specialty.

One of my secondary goals is to share my knowledge with others so that they can embrace and enjoy this very rewarding and creative craft.

Acton, Ontario, L7J 2L8 Canada
Phone: 519/853-2027
Fax: 519/853-2027
E-mail: Email this Company
Contact Person: Hendrik Varju

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