Robinson Cook

Wood Carver
Bio: Robinson Cook I spent my first 19 years growing up in south central Ontario. After graduating from high school and working in a lumberyard for 6 months I left Ontario with $500 a backpack and a guitar in search of travel by sailboat. Almost 1 year later and a trans Atlantic crossing completed I returned to Canada and headed for the mountains of British Columbia. Spring melt brought me to the west coast of Vancouver Island and a camping trip on Meares Island. The ocean, old growth forest and culture of aware and expressive people awoke the creative juices in me and I have been home here for the last 25 plus years. I am a student of the fine woodworking revolution. In my time in the Tofino and N.W. coast area I have had many mentors and influences in my tenure as a wood craftsman. Jan Janzen, Helmar Hajek, Henry Nola, Lloyd House, Bob Schantz, Hutch Sam and Gordon Dick have all had significant influence on my work. The natural forms of the trees in the rainforest, the flow of water in the environment, and the representative art of the N.W.coast first nations shape my furniture and carving. For the last 20 years I have been living on islands in Clayoquot Sound. The aquatic, off grid lifestyle of `chop wood, carry water` makes an impression on everything that I do. Based out of a resurrected intertidal work shed on Strawberry Island I presently do 70% of my work building custom cabinets and furniture on a commission basis. Corresponding with clients to find the right balance of beauty and function to fit the unique needs and looks of people’s homes and businesses. I predominately use only Vancouver island woods and frequently source and mill my own wood from salvaging off the ocean and shoreline. It is important to me to source wood from non- exploitative sources and try to make use of wood that large industry deems `waste`. I also seek to exclusively use non-toxic or low VOC finishes on the furniture and cabinets for the sake of my health, the clients and the planets! Carving sculpture is something that I love to do. I am recently dedicating more time and study to this aspect of my craft. I am very fortunate to have mentorship in the art of Nuu-Chah-Nulth design from Qwaya Sam and Gordon Dick. Both young masters. I also dapple in Lapidary work and often add certain gem stone elements to compliment the woodwork. My greatest assets are my family. Mary forest my partner and Cedar my darling 12 year old daughter. *images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the written permission of the artist.