Arthur Elms came to the north from out east and has been teaching in Behchokǫ̀ since 2008. During the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, Arthur went down a YouTube rabbit hole and started watching a bunch of woodworking videos and quickly decided he wanted to try it for himself
During COVID, I built a shed at my house in Yellowknife. It was the first time we stayed in Yellowknife, all summer because, we usually come out east here, really like building things with my hands. I’m usually doing things more with my, my mind, I guess. And, uh, yeah, working with my hands is, just as satisfying as a, extra hobby slash business.
Even though he’s done a fair number of them since then, Arthur can still remember his first woodworking project.
And I guess you always remember your first, it was like a checkerboard end grade cutting board. It, it was more of an advanced one, but I had watched a video of a guy doing it and I figured I could copy kind of exactly what he did instead of doing my own thing. And, it took a long time. It, there was a lot of trial and error and my old tools that I used for building the fence and, deck, it was challenging to build like fine word woodworking with those older, more framing type woodworking tools. But when I was finished, I, I realized that I really enjoyed it. And then when I came back up to Yellowknife, and I started upgrading my tools and I started just doing this as a hobby and then. Had too many cutting boards and charcuterie boards in our house. So, I figured I should start maybe making this a new business
And that’s exactly what Arthur did after setting up a booth at the Yellowknife Farmer’s Market. The support he saw from the north was nothing short of incredible.
Especially, my close friends, you know how you, you work on something, you’re proud of it and you like it, but you never really quite know how other people feel. So my friends were quite into it and they got a few things for me and got me to make them a few things. But again, they’re your friends. You’re not really sure. But When strangers come and admire your work and tell you how good something is, and then they’re willing to put in the money to it. It just, uh, it adds a different. Uh, to it and, In Yellowknife, it’s crazy. There is a lot of traffic at the farmer’s market and people are so complimentary and there’s definitely a great vibe in the city for local work art and crafts.
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