Marcel Tardif has a knack for working with wood. Ever since his high school years, he’s been handling the tools to shape, smooth and carve beautiful hand-crafted creations. But only recently has he begun to take his talents to another level and begin a business out of it. Being the creative artist behind Sumac Hill Creations, Marcel has proven he has what it takes.
Due to a back injury in 2015, Marcel was’t able to continue in the field of work he was currently in. Determined to keep himself busy while still earning some income, Sumac Hill Creations was born, a chance for Marcel to ramp up on his love of working with wood. Marcel is quick to note that his works are unique, one-of-a-kind, and purposeful. Since Marcel has years of experience in dabbling with different types of wood, he has plenty of knowledge in working with this medium. The main types he tends to work with include a high grade of maple as well as cherry and walnut (be sure to note if you have a nut allergy, as foods served on walnut pieces may trigger a reaction). But Marcel has also put himself to the challenge of working with a few exotic woods, as well. Some of these include the Central African wenge wood and Central/South American purple heart wood, bloodwood and Banksia seed pods from Australia (used mainly for bowls and candleholders), and ebony as an accent wood. Every wood type has specific colours and characteristics. Marcel tends to work from the direction of the grains in the wood, which ensures that his final product is a natural, uniform piece. Marcel uses over 50 different wood tools, including 2 wood lathes and many smaller specific tools, to perfect his pieces. As he puts it, the right tools are what really make the woodworks beautiful. He also coats each piece in either beeswax or a food-grade finish. This created a barrier between the wood and any food that may be served on certain pieces, while also protecting the wood. Final products range from platters, candleholders and bowls to baguette and serving boards. He also does custom orders, upon request, and can provide any interested individual with a wide range of photos from his own portfolio. Currently, Marcel crafts about 3-4 new pieces per day.
Marcel is one of our more recent additions to our vendors at the Thunder Bay Country Market, however, he is certainly no less talented! Sumac Hill Creations joined us three months ago on the second floor among our other talented artisans. Of his past three months at the market, Marcel notes it has been a humbling experience to see the awe people express for his work.
Besides showcasing his work at the market, Marcel also aims to show his work in three local, upcoming shows, including the Fort Frances Craft Show, Vanderwees’ Country Christmas Craft Fair and possibly the Artisans Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show. You can also find his work on a number of local Facebook Sell and Swap pages, including Thunder Bay Buy and Sell. And I’m sure many are eager to see his works in more parts of the community!
Marcel credits a lot of help and support to his wife, who gives him a hand with his business. The two are also actively involved in creating rag rugs, also available at his booth in the
It’s easy to see the the products of Sumac Hill Creations are no ordinary pieces. Marcel is a local artisan who prides in creating beautiful, purposeful products, whether for personal use, as a gift or simply something that adds a special touch to your home or camp. You can stop by to see his work for yourself at the market, every Wednesday from 3:30-6:30pm and again on Saturdays from 8:00am-1:00pm, where he is located on the second floor.