A Craftsman from Times Past

Millwork in heritage homes deserves professional attention

One of the most common complaints, amongst serious collectors of antiques and people who own heritage homes, is that there are few craftspeople that know about, or even have, the types of old-world skills that are often needed. Most of those who could once be counted on for this knowledge have passed on or retired and the next generation is loath to put in the years of work and dedication to learn them.

Alberta, being a young province, has a small stock of heritage homes. The late auctioneer, Arthur Clausen, once told me “Edmontonians like antiques but they want them to look like they were made yesterday.” With such limitations you’d think we’d be totally out of luck to find such a skilled craftsman – but you’d be wrong.

Wood can suffer from bleaching, staining, splitting and general misuse.

Ian Campbell and his family have been Edmonton residents since 2010 when they moved to Alberta in order to find employment. They originally lived in New Brunswick and it is in that fine province that Ian developed the expertise of working with wood.

Ian began his training at the young age of 15 and throughout the following years managed to earn a diploma in woodworking, and train with well-known local masters to learn the craft of carpentry, wood refinishing and the art of repairing anything made out of wood. He has worked at high-end furniture refinishing companies, repairing important pieces of antique furniture, many of which are displayed in museums and Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

A beautiful French Canadian armoire. Over – refinishing would ruin such a piece.

He started his own business and counted as his clients many antique dealers, interior designers, and heritage homeowners, the latter requiring assistance with restoring millwork to a standard that was in keeping with the heritage value of the original.

Millwork, whether painted or stained, requires special attention in heritage homes.

Ian worked on projects that spanned the country, from Vancouver to the East coast, and lest you be exhausted simply reading about the breath of his experience, I should add that Ian had his own television program, televised from his workshop. It was dedicated to the art of restoring and refinishing antiques. Here’s one episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzQ-THiF5HM&feature=youtu.be

This craftsman will go to your site and repair whatever is wrong with the wood – from dents and scratches, water and humidity damage, light exposure, millwork repairs – even pet chew damage! In addition to these services, he can also do upholstery repairs and finish that special antique furniture piece in the traditional French-polish technique. His skills are not limited to old pieces –  he works with insurance companies and designers to repair all manner of surfaces in contemporary homes.

Original Upholstery can be repaired – and what about pet damage?

New Brunswick’s loss, as they say, is our gain. If you are interested in Ian’s services, call him at 587-340-0331, or email him at campbellswoodrepair@outlook.com Check out his web site at www.campbellswoodrepair.ca .

Tell him you heard about his work from me!

2 responses to “A Craftsman from Times Past

  1. This is great Johanne! People with his skills and expertise are incredibly rare!
    I watched the YouTube video you included – did you notice the pooch lounging on the counter? Major plus for me 😊

    Sent from my iPad


    • Yes I thought of you when I spoke to Ian, although your house is pretty much completed. It’s so great to get someone local with those skills. I will let the Edm Heritage Homeowners group know as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s