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Our Approach

Zuber Singh 295

Cutting edge is no longer just a figure of speech

Recently, ‘levelling up’ and ‘being proud’ have meant a lot more than just carpentry terms

It is said in the olden days of crafting that time was cheap. Indeed, outside some of the greatest monuments of those times, history bears witness to entire cities of craftsmen who set up camp over many generations to pour over the wonder at hand, renewing the secrets of their guild generation after generation. At many of these monuments even today, one can find whole neighborhoods of artisans, practicing, with some innovation, the same intricate crafts of their encamped ancestors all those centuries ago.

 

But in the world we live in today there is no resource as precious as time. Despite all our innovations and technological leaps, it seems we are still in competition with the old masters. The precision of a hand stabilized by generations of tradition is not easy to replicate, and time is tighter than ever. Recently at our shop, however, we unlocked the fast track to the secrets of the guilds. Our latest venture is our favourite kind: versatile.

A little over a month ago, we welcomed to our shop two new instruments, both with a great constitution and capability for precision. These two machines, namely a CNC spindle router and laser engraver, add a beautiful harmony to the cacophony of craft abound. More importantly, our new engraving capabilities have opened to us a realm of possibility that is almost infinite.

Our spindle router and laser engraver allow us to carve in minutes what would have taken a skilled artisan many days. Not to mention, with our design and G-code capabilities, we can lend any design into permanent and motorized memory in the matter of a few hours of transcription, a far cry from the generations of tradition needed to preserve this knowledge in the past.

We don’t seek to bury the past, but rather to honour it from our modern lens. In fact, it’s our way of trying to keep it around. It’s no secret that artisanship needs an upgrade to keep up with the speed of time. Higher costs of living, operating, materials, and the absence of a patronage system have made handcrafting unviable commercially.

As a Vancouver Island based company, we want to keep the beauty of this precision around before things get too boring. We believe that CNC is the foundation of our longstanding dream, beautifying our Island neighbourhoods uniquely and organically. In honour of Vancouver Island’s flavour, our lumber supply is completely locally sourced, and largely reclaim, and yet of the highest quality (bless this land).

These machines allow us to create beautiful tributes to home whilst empowering it with fair labour employment. Our venture also empowers local artists and businesses with access to an affordable service. All manner of engravings, stencils, prints, signs, and merchandise are available to an entrepreneur’s fingertips. Think of the monuments to come!

We have great ambitions with this project, even though we’re just starting out small. We’ve made good on our word with a few experiments already, including custom engraved siding panels which, when sealed with resin and backlit, bring the stars to the face of your house. We’ve also been thriving in the versatility these projects allow; with our design tile push, for example, we’ve been able to get our millwork, finishing, design, and CNC departments working in tandem to bring all sorts of experimentations to life. Our spindle router is also perfect for making signs. In fact, we’ve been experimenting a lot with our own signs! Our spindle is especially suited for engraving aluminum and brass, so we decided to put it to the test with our brand-new custom signboard and lawn signs! The lawn signs really allowed for our millwork and finishing departments to shine. These sign frames were fabricated in-house using locally sourced and powder-coated aluminum.

We’ve also been thrilled to be of service for Acacia Landscaping and NZ Builders for their brand paraphernalia, including lawn signs and stencils. We’re now working on residential signage, stamps, and even irons for branding on wood (pun intended). Our online shop has a set for everyone, not only are these tiles versatile for use as coasters, tiles, shingles (etc.), but their aesthetic is limitless; be it wood species, design, dimension, or finish. We encourage anyone interested in any application of this service to get in touch. We’d be delighted to work with your vision.

 

 

 

 

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Our Triple Crown Philosophy


Some years ago, I innately understood that a building structure should have three important attributes. First, it should be structurally sound. Second, it should be aesthetically pleasing. Third, it should be attainable or affordable. Ever since, I have strived to make everything I do worthy of this triple crown of excellence.

During a ferry ride to Vancouver, I saw my young son had drawn Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man in my notebook. To my surprise, my son’s sketch led me to discover the historic importance of this idea. This world-famous sketch of a man in a circle, his arms outstretched in two different overlapping poses, has become iconic. A Wikipedia search showed me how Da Vinci was inspired by proportions described by Vitruvius in his ancient treatise of De Architectura.

Vitruvius was arguably the greatest architect in history. His work is the only major surviving publication on architecture from classical antiquity. It was written for Emperor Augustus, made famous in the Bible for his census which brought Jesus’ parents to Bethlehem. Eminent Roman architects such as Vitruvius were skilled in engineering, art, and craftsmanship. As an army engineer himself, Vitruvius had overseen all manner of building and construction for wars and settlements across Europe and North Africa.

The most famous maxim of Vitruvius was that architecture should embody three qualities: utilitias, firmitas, and venustas. In English, this means that great handiwork should be useful, sturdy, and with beautiful proportions. (Just imagine what Venus, the goddess of love, might look like.)

I was delighted and not disappointed to find out that my idea was old and not new. It gives me more motivation than ever to offer you the product of a triple crown craftsman: sturdy, useful, and beautiful work at a reasonable price.