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John van Kessel immigrated to Canada, from Holland, as a small boy in 1951. He grew up on a farm with his large family, near Forest, Ontario, where he learned to work with his hands. Professionally, John was a teacher and principal in the London area. As retirement approached, he invested in a lathe and soon became hooked on wood turning.

Despite having two dust extractors in the furnace room, he wasn’t able to contain the fine dust. He loves to tell his friends (and his wife) that he wasn’t making saw dust, rather he was creating divorce dust. This led (with his wife’s encouragement) to building a quaint new studio in the back yard.

John dearly enjoys the artistic aspects of woodturning. To create beautiful forms gives him a thrill. It pleases him to know that others find the work appealing enough to have it in their homes. He dyes some of his work and does carving on other pieces. He works alone, but through the guild, The Thames Valley Woodturners, he continues to learn.

All his operations are eco-friendly. The majority of his wood comes from trees felled by the City of London. He burns the off-cuts for heat in his shop and recycles the mounds of wood chips as garden mulch. .
Tiger Maple Bowl

Tiger Maple

Dyed Natural-edged
Manitoba Maple

Manitoba Maple

Black Cherry Hollow Form
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Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio
Bay #3, 320 - 1st Street West
Cochrane, Alberta

(403) 932-7040
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