Virtual Woodwork Showroom: A spotlight of online artistry

Matthew Bradford

Woodworking inspiration can take root from any source. And in the age of social media, there is no shortage of showroom-worthy pieces to discover online. Here, we’ve collected samples of the woodworking artistry on display online with insights from their creators.


Maple Leaf Stairs

Jack Johnson, Canada

Albertan artist Jack Johnson created these eye-catching steps using pressure-treated lumber for the framing and western red cedar for all the exposed wood. The self-described “beer league” hockey player explained that “My inspiration came from wanting to design and build something that looks super cool and super Canadian so I can take a picture and add it to my citizenship application, along with the generous amount of penalty minutes I’ve accrued this season.”


Art Deco Wooden Border

Will Storey, UK

According to UK artist Will Storey, the vision for this intricate, laser-cut project came from his life experiences as a father, husband, and a teacher of design and technology, as well as “a fascination for architectural detailing and my love for nature and natural forms.”

“I simply love the technique and process I use,” he adds. “Each piece of art takes me on a journey where my dreams and imagination are etched and cut into each layer of wood, and I am excited to see how far I can take this technique.”


An Ode to Canadian Sports

Ryan Leslie, Canada

This stylish homage to sports comes from Ryan Leslie, a Toronto artist who says his favourite major league teams inspired him.

“I wanted to create the logos of the teams I love watching while keeping it classy enough that my girlfriend would still let me hang them up.”

Each logo is 15″ in diameter on ½” thick aspen plywood. 



Darren Andrew, Australia

It’s been a productive lockdown for Australian Darren Andrew. These cassette tape coffee tables are a sampling of the impressive projects he’s created over the past two years. Constructed with layered birch plywood, they feature backlit inserts that can be swapped out to reflect one’s musical tastes.

Andrew says the idea for these projects took shape after he started playing with a basic table design in CAD, noting, “The creation was finalized during a very long lockdown. I was able to play on my own in the factory of a small sign company I have in Melbourne, Australia. This table now sits in our office for customers to see if they are ever allowed to come back in.”


A Hazzan Heart

Zack Portman, Canada

Canadian artist Zack Portman crafted this resonant piece in homage to his sister, a cantor with the Jewish clergy who “does everything in her life with a rhythm, ditty, and some choice lyrics.”  

“She loves music in such an immense way, but her love of music peaks at its highest when it is combined with prayer,” said Portman. “And so, much like when her love flows through her as her voice projects over her congregation, so do these music notes flow through the heart of the Star of David.”

The 24″ x 42″ wall-mounted piece was made from Canadian oak. 


Great Auk Penguin Skull

Jannek Löffler, Germany

This hand-crafted piece from Germany is created from basswood and is one of many pieces to come from German artist Jannek Löffler. Speaking to this more recent project, he says, “I was just looking at some bird anatomy and was struck by the interestingly shaped beak of the Great Auk penguin, so I decided to carve it.”


Portico Timber Frame Project

Bart Waters, USA

According to Michigan-based creator Bart Waters, inspiration for this eye-catching entrance came from a crooked hickory log that didn’t deserve to be firewood.

“I used my home sawmill to cut the two main posts specifically for this project. After that, I wanted to learn how to timber frame, and the folks from Finch Woodworks in Virginia inspired me to use live edge black walnut braces.” 

The fascia boards are live edge red maple, with the king posts comprised of ash, leaving the ash borer tracks on the beams.

“20 years from now, no one will remember how much ash we lost to the borer. I started my little sawmill operation because I had so much dead ash that needed some useful purpose,” Waters adds.

Matt Bradford is a writer, editor, and longtime contributor at MediaEdge, publishers of Wood Industry e-digest and magazine. He has spent years reporting on the wood and construction industries and values the opportunity to provide insights into the secondary wood manufacturing community’s successes, challenges, and opportunities.

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