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Woodcrafter inspired by near-death experience

About a year and a half ago he was lying on his bed shaking uncontrollably. He thought he was a Covid goner.
Ryan Gunderson, a Prince George woodcrafter, was inspired to make his art after a near-death experience.

About a year and a half ago, he was lying on his bed shaking uncontrollably. He thought he was a Covid goner.

“I thought 'if I die here what have I left my kids? My wife? The world?'” Ryan Gunderson said about how he got started in his woodworking. “And it scared me. I hadn’t done enough with my life and it motivated me to build my first piece, which was a mountain scene.”

Gunderson works at a building supply store specializing in hard to source wood and when a local artist kept coming in to get her specialty wood, he was curious about what she was doing and found her on social media.

“Dani at North Soul Studios inspired me,“ Gunderson said. “She does great work and she’s very popular and really if I had not met her and got Covid Delta (where people were getting sicker quicker and to a greater level) I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”

Gunderson favours the exotic woods for his wood inlay pieces like the mountain scenes, feathers and leaves and framed pieces of wood laid in intricate patterns.

“There are different textures, thicknesses and widths and this is kind of what I do, right?” Gunderson said. “And then I bought a router to smooth edges and then it’s all hand sanded – every piece is done by me and these are all natural colours of the wood and I finish them with one coat of clear oil.”

To reach out to Gunderson email him a [email protected] or look for him in person on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Blackburn Community Centre’s Craft Fair from 10 to 3 p.m. at 2451 Blackburn Road.