Headshot - 4.jpg

Jean-Sébastien Grenier

This is my second year as a woodworker. Before taking on fine woodworking this year, I was involved with a motley crew of carpenters out in Nova Scotia. Ballroom dancing with lobsters on the ocean floor was a fun kind of jazz and all, but a bad case of wanderlust and aspirations for more design-oriented craftwork led me out west. The fact that my co-conspirator and co-lovebird was into the idea of taking the same program certainly didn’t hurt. And that’s how I found myself in Nelson. Since joining this program, I can say I’ve made more than pallet board benches and pinewood coffee tables. Things have dialed in this year. I’ve discarded inches and adopted millimeters. The catalog of my creations now includes wooden rings, a slew of boxes, a chair, kitchen cabinets, curly whirly wood shaving wigs, a creepy spoon, a writing desk, and a filing cabinet. Now my repertoire boasts a few of the finer things in life.


The furniture I make is informed by my hedgehog farm. I was more of a hobby farmer before joining Selkirk’s woodworking program, but things have really taken off. We’re up to thirty two hedgehogs now. My creative process involves holding design surveys that the hedgehogs respond to. Through coding a variety of responses to design decisions– blinks, twitches, yawns, a few spins of the exercise wheel, and even blank stares – I employ a vocabulary of colours, forms, wood species, historical trends, stains, finishes… even down to the order of sandpaper grit used. These hedgehogs know their stuff and continue to surprise me with each project we take on. Applying their suggestions in unorthodox relationships with one another, I aim to give them a voice in the furniture making industry that they otherwise wouldn’t have.