28.7 C
Elmira
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Finding some time to be creative with wood

Breslau man uses his passion for woodworking to go from household projects to making items he now sells

Derrick Stryker has always had a passion for working with his hands and learning to do things on his own, but it wasn’t until he and his family moved to their new home in Breslau that he really had the chance to develop his skills as a woodworker.

He started off small by building things for the home that he knew his family would be living in for many years to come. From there he decided to make a coffee table out of scrap wood left over from a bed frame, and when someone wanted to buy it, his hobby turned itself into a business. The inspiration that spurred him to continue this side-business for more than four years came from moving into his new home, but what keeps him going is his love to create things that can bring people together.

“I love to create pieces that people can surround themselves with,” said Stryker. “Whether it’s a harvest table like a dining room table… where everyone is sitting around it having a good time enjoying their friends and family. Or a charcuterie board to bring people together because they get to share food together. Those types of items, I love making them.”

Stryker does both custom orders for pieces and also makes items from materials he has on hand, which he then posts on social media so people who may be interested can purchase them. Some of the more popular items he makes includes charcuterie boards and wooden bowties – an item that he says is especially popular around the holiday season – and even cheese knives.

“It’s a lot of tinkering in the garage. I also started making wooden cheese knives, I did like a small batch a couple weeks ago and those are pretty well sold out. So, I just started a larger batch which I’ll finish up in the next couple weeks,” said Stryker.

He also says he goes down to auctions and finds vintage items that he can “turn into something awesome.”

It started with the bed frame he turned into a coffee table, but after he started posting things people asked if he could make custom items and do different things: “My stuff is 50 per cent custom and 50 per cent me just making things up,” he said.

Because this is just a side hobby from his job at the school board, Stryker says he tries to get as much time in doing woodwork as he can. The pandemic has given him the ability to have some extra time, but he says work is still keeping him busy and there’s always “lots to do.”

While his skillset has grown, Stryker says there are things people ask him for that he just don’t feel comfortable making. He says he is always willing to learn new skills when it comes to woodworking and is even working on building his own shed.

Those interested in the things he makes can contact him through Facebook and Instagram.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

ON THE MENU

Grilled mojo chicken should be on your July Fourth menu

If you want to know what elevated grilled chicken tastes like, order mojo chicken from a Cuban rotisserie. The simple but lively combination of tart citrus and sweet garlic is grilled perfection.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

Looking to do some research about the communities we serve? Browse through the years in our online archives.

Back in the saddle again

Day camps are among activities now permitted as the economy opens, though subject to safety measures such as physical distancing. That the...

Holiday fireworks can have a big impact on our pets

There were no big fireworks shows to mark Canada Day this week, but that loss of a traditional part of the celebration...

Elmira Pentecostal Assembly puts a twist on their classic car show

Car shows – from large formal events to drop-in gatherings in a neighbourhood parking lot – are a staple of summertime living....

This year, it’s not just the kids saying goodbye

When Diane Martin started teaching at the Elmira Community Nursery School in 1984, she probably didn’t plan on being there more than...

Local artist turns her passion into a way to help others

Julie Wemp left her career as a registered massage therapist at the end of April, retiring after 19 years. Now she has...

Dealing with stress has been a big part of our response to COVID-19, expert says in WCHC presentation

The coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdown having thrown everything out of equilibrium, disrupting our sense of normalcy, it’s no surprise that emotions...

Keeping older adults healthy through the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic showing signs of slowing down, Waterloo Region is entering phase two of the province’s structured reopening plan. But a...

Wellesley Lions cancel this year’s Don Green slo-pitch fundraiser due to coronavirus concerns

Add the Don Green slo-pitch tournament to the list of local events that have been cancelled thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Advertisement -