Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 1
   September 2010
   Pine-Beetle Wood

Faux rocks made out of pine-beetle wood
These faux rocks, which look deceptively real, are made out of discarded lumber that has been damaged by mountain pine beetles.

Some measure of creativity lives in all of us, but there are people who tap into their supply more than others. Artist and furniture maker Judson Beaumont is one of those people.

Mr. Beaumont owns Straight Line Designs in Vancouver, British Columbia, a company known for its unusual furniture productions. The challenge, he says, is to always better his last creation, to constantly reevaluate and to push himself to think about the next great design. To stand out and move the business forward, he says concepts need to be fresh and eye-catching.

And he should know. In 2009, the British Columbia Achievement Foundation honored him with an award for Applied Art and Design. Disney Cruise Line and Crayola, among other companies, have commissioned him to design one-of-a-kind installations. He's also produced distinctive pieces for children's hospitals, museums, airports and libraries.

He began his company with the intention of making wood furniture on commission while working on personal art projects in his off time. A graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, his art at the time consisted of large wooden structures, cubes and hexagons with corners jutting out at unusual angles. When he discovered that people who bought his art sometimes used the pieces as coffee tables, a new career in creating sculptural furniture was born.

Mr. Beaumont began showing his work at trade shows where, in an effort to stand out from other woodworkers, he focused on creating unusual pieces. Now, his days are spent working with a staff of eight craftspeople whose varied backgrounds, from art to industrial design, are a vital component to the success of the business.
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