I Branched Out

Written by Stephannie Johnson, Parry Sound Metroland Media

  • Products we sell

    If you’re in the market for custom-made wooden chairs, tables, bunk beds — even cribbage boards and charcuterie trays — you name it — I Branched Out is it. Inside Ryan McKeown’s small River Street workshop and studio are a number of ready-made pieces and those waiting to be cut, sanded and moulded into the next functionally striking piece.

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    “I’ve been playing around with woodworking for a long time,” he said. “Last winter I was busy doing stuff at my shop, doing welding, but I had too much sawdust around, so I’d have to clean the whole garage out to do welding, and it just wasn’t efficient.” “I’m selling more of the bigger pieces and a lot of commissioned pieces — where people will come in and say, ‘Well, I like that, but can you do it like this?’ I get a lot of that,” he said. “If (customers) want something, they can bring me a picture of what they want, and I can do it. I’ve done one table that was 14 feet long and just shy of five feet wide, and three inches thick.”

  • Live Edge Wood

    Additionally, McKeown specializes in “live-edge” pieces, leaving the gnarly and beautiful textured edges of the trees intact, becoming part of the finished product. “A lot of my wood comes from the City of Toronto and a guy who has a contract with them to take down trees or ones that have fallen down. I also do a lot of the epoxy pieces, and people just love them. Once you mix it up and you pour it, the epoxy pigment does whatever it wants to do — it’s neat.”

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