The Former President Theodore Roosevelt once stated about the importance of conservation: “Here is your country. Cherish these natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.” Our Artist Spotlight for the month of June, Tom Canada, is a man who knows the value of our natural resources. As a wood-turner, his mission is to repurpose discarded pieces of wood into beautifully smooth bowls and other incredible items.
That is why Tom Canada is our Artist Spotlight for the month of June! We are inspired by the way that Mr. Canada uses his appreciation for nature and the great outdoors in his hobby. He first learned to turn wood in the late ’50’s through a woodworking class taught at Model High School. He set the hobby aside until the mid ’80’s when he tinkered with it again but has just now really gotten invested in woodturning during the past 6-7 years. Tom Canada’s career was built on building cars. Evidently, the man likes working with his hands.
And he’s good at it! With a career of fixing cars (with a specialty in Volvos) and hobby of woodturning, Tom Canada has made a name for himself in Rome as nothing short of a true artist. When asked why he enjoys the work so much, he replied: “It keeps me out of trouble.” He likes making stuff. He likes turning a regular block of wood into something new and useful– recycling our natural resources. According to Mr. Canada, the challenge of repurposing/salvaging a resource is the inspiration behind his work. It is fun to take a block of wood and see how it will turn out because no one wood is just alike. All types of wood are slightly different. For example, Red Box Elder, which is hard to find, makes nice bowls. However, it is very different from the Norfolk pine of Hawaii and the Keys.
Mr. Canada is involved in several clubs related to his work. Around 5 years ago, Tom began the Northwest Georgia Wood Turners Association. They meet once a month and are always looking for new members or anyone who might be interested in the craft. He is also a member of The Rome Area Council for the Arts and the Rome Art Coterie Club. Tom Canada has lived in Rome his entire life and thinks it to be a fine town. When I asked him if he would think about carving a rendering of our Clocktower– he said he just might. Either way, we are happy to know Tom Canada and spotlight his work this month! Be sure to visit The Last Stop Gift Shop and pick up his work just in time for Father’s Day!