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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Check out his web site at www.campbellswoodrepair.ca .
Tell him you heard about his work from me!