Getting to Know : John Holm Woodworking

John Holm Woodworking | WOODEN KITCHENWARE
Kayla Sorley | BLOG CONTRIBUTOR

Fifteen years ago John Holm and his wife Jocelyn were strolling along the beach in Victoria, when his eye was caught by a particularly pretty piece of Fir lying on the rocks. Since retirement, John had been dabbling in woodwork. A man of the good-old-fashioned-hard-work generation, John was accustomed to working with his hands. He quite enjoyed dextrous pursuits of creativity - which had led him to building an arbour for the garden and a few other hardware store projects. The piece of wood John found on the beach that day wasn’t at all like the pre-prepared planks he had been purchasing at the hardware store. He was struck by the intricacies in the grain, the twists and bends formed by wind and sun, the variety of colours that could only be observed by a keen eye. 

“A shame to burn in the fireplace”, he thought, and a patient pursuit for beauty and quality began.

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When you take a moment to gawk over John’s work, you are an observer of the beauty in imperfection. When I sat down with John at his kitchen table (which was overflowing with the pieces I had chosen with abandon) I told him that what I most appreciated about his work was the fact that he never forces the wood to be what it is not. Like it’s creator, every spoon, butter knife, or bowl is unique. The wood itself is telling it’s own story, yet John’s own tale whispers from the arc of each buttery curve. 

Perhaps quality like this can only be created by a person with passion burning through their veins. In his youth, John’s passion was people. His life’s work was with refugees, as a member of the Foreign Service. John’s postings at various Canadian embassies allowed him to become intimate with many corners of the world; from France, where he met his elegant wife, to the Philippines and South America, from where their two sons were adopted. 

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“It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill life.” He commented, pun not intended. 

With the aim of creating harmony in the homes of our customers, we strongly believe in providing you with local, hand made goods. In the 3 hours it takes John to create a single wooden spoon, it is inevitable that love is poured into it’s creation. Bringing John’s work into your home brings the vibration of it into your home, too - and what a beautiful, high vibration it has. 

Arbutus, Juniper, Yew, and Maple are just a few examples of the island-found wood that is used to create these pieces. Finished with either natural Tuung oil or mineral oil, you can feel good about the close proximity these pieces will have with your carefully prepared meals. Maybe you will even have the opportunity to tell John’s story at your next dinner party, where his labour of love will be nestled into your salad bowl. 

You can find John's pieces in our shop at Nourish

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Kayla Sorley