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Michael Harper

I was born in Calgary, Alberta, and I have always found myself most at home in the outdoors. I’ve always tried to get paid to do the things I love most, which led me to work at a ski hill for several years. At Canada Olympic Park we hosted the World Cup Slopestyle Finals, where I got the privilege to work on the course and see firsthand my work put to the test as the world's best battled it out. I first started woodworking in a junior high shop class, where I was able to create things out of wood, metal, and plastic that I could be proud of. I was lucky enough to live right next to a high school with a fully equipped cabinetry shop and began putting furniture together. I first learned of Nelson from watching ski movies and dreamt of one day visiting. During covid I discovered the Fine Woodworking program offered in Nelson and my mind was made. I feel my style is acquired from a combination of my hobbies, and my desk was designed for PC gaming. I am fascinated with bending wood and will continue to experiment with the various methods. During the year, I learned of a technique to achieve a deep black wood while leaving the grain still visible; and after hundreds of test samples, I have a solid understanding of the science surrounding it. My mind was opened to the endless possibilities wood allows you to create. I plan to continue creating pieces around the tools available and will sell my work to fund a private shop to create studio furniture. I am eager to learn more about the craft and begin a career in woodworking.


My passion for woodworking began at an early age while helping my dad with household renovations, where early on I learnt some valuable tricks that I continue to use to this day. I enjoy working with my hands being able to be proud of my work. I have always been fascinated with bending wood and made sure to explore this technique in all ways possible. Learning about the science of woodworking gave me a much higher appreciation for the craft and its history. The beauty of woodworking is its experimental nature, you never know what the results will be until you try.  During the design phase, I was excited to combine everything I'd learned and build a piece I would continue to use and love forever. Many lessons were learned, things are much less forgiving in wood than they are in the computer. I will continue to push my limits as a woodworker and keep the same ambitious spirit with every project I am a part of.