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Dale Rouleau sees the trees for the wood

An accomplished woodturner, Dale Rouleau (above) operates Artisan Wood to Works in Courtenay. He took a gnarly piece of wood (below) from beside the Comox Valley Record in Courtenay and transformed it into a functional and attractive table. - Photo by Scott Stanfield
An accomplished woodturner, Dale Rouleau (above) operates Artisan Wood to Works in Courtenay. He took a gnarly piece of wood (below) from beside the Comox Valley Record in Courtenay and transformed it into a functional and attractive table.
— image credit: Photo by Scott Stanfield

COURTENAY — Dale Rouleau can turn an ugly piece of wood into an attractive work of art.

Which is exactly what he did with a chunk of wood from a big old maple that had been felled in Courtenay.

“It’s some of the most amazing wood I’ve ever seen, and it was just the ugliest-looking tree,” said Rouleau, an accomplished woodturner who owns Artisan Wood to Works in Courtenay.

The business/shop was established as a service to wood carvers, woodturners and luthiers. It supplies tools and wood to complete works of art.

Rouleau serves customers from around Vancouver Island and from out of province.

“This is a retiree’s kind of thing,” he said, noting pensioners locally and in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area. “Most people doing this are picking it up as a hobby for something to do when they retire. This is kind of a gold mine as far as that goes.”

He also sells art and teaches out of his shop on Cousins Road in Tin Town.

“My background is woodturning, so the business is evolving more in that direction,” said Rouleau, an artist in residence who sells or advises on everything he uses. He finds material at building sites and old logged areas.  Before opening in Courtenay, Rouleau had run the business out of his Cumberland home for about 15 years, mostly wholesaling to galleries along with retail.

Rouleau is a one-man operation. Wood to Works is owned by Bow River Specialty Woods in Chilliwack, where he used to live and from where he purchased wood. The company decided to open a retail outlet on the Island, which is where Rouleau comes in.

“They trust me to advise them on tools. I teach for them here, but by the same token I’m allowed to do my own artwork.”

For more information, visit www.woodturning2carving.com

Rouleau’s website is www.rouleauwood.com

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