Turner tames spirit of the forest

By Kathy O'ReillyNorth Island Eagle, December 3 2021

The “Spirit of the Woods” is alive in Port McNeill.

Retired cabinet maker Lorne MacDermid has turned his love for working with wood into a new hobby/business – Spirit of the Woods Turning.

Lorne uses locally sourced wood such as yellow and red Cedar, Alder, Yew, Fir, and fruit trees people have cut down, to hand turn into beautiful bowls, vases, etc. Lorne has found a niche for coloured epoxy vases and bowls and is pursuing that avenue as well.

On occasion, neighbours have brought him burls to turn. 

Alder is a good wood to work with but “it’s kind of a ‘blah’ wood unless you get the spalted stuff.” 

Spalting is wood colouration caused by fungi. 

Lorne moved to Port McNeill in 1986 and worked for Norisle and Norcan Construction and Micron before opening his own cabinet shop where Absolutely Grape U-Brew is currently located.

“When it got quiet at Micron, I started up one day by myself and kind of branched out from there,” he said.

Lorne closed his cabinet shop three years ago and retired, however his idle hands needed to stay busy.

“I used to turn things years and years ago. I came from the Kootenays, and I had a little shop there, but never really got into it, but I enjoyed it,” he explained.

Then fate intervened.

“One day I ran into an old school lathe for sale in Courtenay,” Lorne said.

He drove down with his wife Pauline, and “we ended up buying it” and setting it up in his “little shop in the back and went from there”.

“I enjoy doing it. It’s something that is a no minder thing. You don’t have to really think about anything. You don’t have to add numbers,” he said. 


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Photo — Kathy O'Reilly

Lorne MacDermid turns pieces of wood into bowls, vases and other pieces and sells them at markets with help from wife Pauline. 

Youth folds paper into Origami works of art

 By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, December 3 2021

You never know what you’ll find when you are searching the Internet.

Nathan Klatt was scrolling through YouTube videos one day five years ago when he came across one on Origami.

He has been hooked over since.

Origami is the art of paper-folding. Its name derives from Japanese words ori (folding) and kami (paper). Traditional origami consists of folding a single sheet of square paper (often with a coloured side) into a sculpture without cutting, gluing, taping, or even marking it.

“Since Grade 5, I’ve loved to do Origami. I started doing cards and figured that I would put some Origami out and see if people liked it, and they’ve really liked it,” he said.

Nathan had his Origami Christmas trees, Ugly Christmas sweaters, glass ornaments filled with Origami pieces, and cranes as well as his cards for sale at both the craft fair at the Thunderbird Mall Saturday, Nov. 27 and the Eagle View Elementary School Bazaar held at the Port Hardy Civic Centre Sunday.

Nathan spends five or six hours a week folding pieces of paper into beautiful creations.

In addition to Christmas-themed items, Nathan has made a couple Baby Yodas, dragons, Kunai from Naruto and more.

Nathan says it was not hard to learn Origami.

“Once you do three or four, you catch on. Some pieces are really easy and others are quite hard,” he said, depending on the complexity of the item.

Nathan has participated in many craft fairs over the years with some of his earnings going towards his pet gecko Mango’s upkeep.

“I use a lot of money to buy her stuff - crickets and things like that.”

When he’s not in school or making Origami, Nathan plays defense at the Bantam hockey level.

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Photo — Kathy O'Reilly

Nathan Klatt had his cards and origami ornaments for sale at the PAC Eagle View Elementary School Christmas Bazaar Nov. 28. Left a close up of his work.