TORONTO, ONT -- Ontario Wood, the City of Toronto, IIDEXCanada, and have teamed up again to bring you IIDEX Woodshop: 15 innovative wood prototypes that utilize Toronto’s untapped ash wood resource.

Globalization and climate change have brought pests like the Emerald Ash Borer to North America where they are destroying forests. In Toronto alone, the Borer will bring down 200,000+ ash trees in the next 5 years. IIDEX Woodshop aims to reduce the number of ash trees headed for the landfill by creating innovative, market-ready commercial and consumer prototypes.

This IIDEXCanada annual special feature exhibition is generously supported by Ontario Wood, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Designer Name: Megan Blake

Business Name: Megan Blake Studio


Name of Piece: Peggy's Mini Makers - Wooden Building Blocks + Peggy's Makers - Wooden Building Blocks

Description of Piece: Peggy's Makers - Wooden Building Blocks are custom made solid wood building blocks made primarily from Toronto ash, as well as some walnut and cherry highlights. Since most of my projects are larger in scale, I really was excited about the opportunity to turn salvaged local wood into a timeless and useful toy. The small scale meant that all offcuts and scraps were put to use in the final, sustainable product; a tool for imaginative play for both children and adults. Being able to see, touch and feel solid wood on a daily basis is one of the absolute best parts about being a maker, and I wanted to make a useful, portable and fun way for anyone to enjoy this experience in the comfort of their own home. Peggy's Makers are perfect for playrooms, offices or coffee tables. Their possibilities are limited only by gravity. The blocks are naturally finished with oil and beeswax, and totally baby and adult friendly.

Designer Name: Darryl Agawin

Business Name: No, Sweat! Design


Name of Piece: Balance Stool

Description of Piece: Influenced by Danish and Japanese design principles and aesthetics, the Balance Stool is a modern offshoot of the original "No, Sweat!" workstation/ exercise set.

The Balance Stool incorporates an innovative "wobble" seat, which enables passive strengthening and balance exercises for the user. The "wobble" seat can also be removed for balance exercises on any hard surface.

The Balance Stool's clean lines fit into any work environment and its solid ash construction makes for a durable furniture piece that can stand up to repeated active use.

The visually simplistic stool utilizes CNC production techniques to provide simple assembly for the end user. The stool is flat packable and can be available in a series of semi-opaque color washes.

Using the ergonomic Balance Stool provides a comfortable yet active way to strengthen the user's core and improve posture.

Designer Name: Adam Shepperdley & Dave Green


 Kangaroo Group

Name of Piece: fraxinus

Juror’s choice: Joshua Brasse & Tory Healy 

Description of Piece: When considering the urban wood crisis/opportunity created by the emerald ash borer beetle, we wanted to find a project that had potential to use a substantial amount of the salvaged wood to redirect as much as possible from landfills. We also wanted to find an industry that was stagnant and in need of innovation.

Each year there are 94,000 deaths in Ontario. Caskets are imported from low cost suppliers and are shipped all over North America. The ornate designs haven’t evolved with time. The vast majority contain toxic glue, veneers, as well as heavy metals that leach into the ground.

We propose FRAXINUS, an update in design using urban salvaged ash, environmentally friendly techniques & finishes - all from the heart of Toronto.

Brought to you by GEORGE DOUGLAS

Adam Shepperdley & David Green

Designer Name: Michael Fortune

Business Name: The Michael C. Fortune Studio

Name of Piece: Shelley

Description of Piece: Convertible Coffee Table to Side Tables to Ottomans or Benches. Designed for limited production. Steambent ash frame and legs (salvaged wood) using the Lee Valley Veritas bending equipment (designed by me for Veritas Tools). The legs can be made on a copy lathe. The surfaces flip over. The table tops are Japanese ash on a substrate, the alternate furface is upholstered embossed leather the size of each unit is approx. 630mm x 680mm x 380mm high.

Various wood colours and upholstery materials are available.

Designer Name: Kevin Armour


Name of Piece: Cradle Bench

Description of Piece: Cradle is a bench inspired by architectural elements to create an elegant structure. The legs are the foundation and serve as a showcasing element for the seating surface. Made from 100% Canadian Ash, this simple design can be assembled and disassembled with only 6 screws. The lateral supports also provide an elegant solution for storage.

Designer Name: Rob Southcott

Business Name: Rob Southcott Studio Works

Name of Piece: Hooked

Description of Piece: These fun and decorative shapes act as a sculptural place to hang and store a variety of daily items. They can be hung in a more traditional manner as single hooks or arranged in larger numbers for a greater visual effect.

Designer Name: Jason van der Burg

Business Name: Urbanworm Design


Name of Piece: Leaning Loop

Description of Piece: The Leaning Loop is a multi-purpose upright organizer made of salvaged solid ash wood. It is a handcrafted modular clothing hanger, bag holder, gadget shelf, mirror, peg board, key holder, and shoe shelf all in one sleek package.

It is well suited to help organize one or two people and requires only a wall and gravity to do its part–no wall attachment is necessary. It has been carefully calculated and designed to lean perfectly on its own without losing balance; adding items only makes it more stable. Small bumpers at the back ensure scuff-free and unmarred walls while it fits neatly into an entry space, hallway, bedroom, dorm room, bathroom, office or studio work area.

The Leaning Loop is an everyday, elegant utility for the modern dweller.

Designer Name: Lubo Brezina

Business Name: LUBO


Name of Piece: Love Bench

Description of Piece: The LOVEbench is yet another iteration of my continual exploration of the virtues of barn structures. My interest in this field is threefold:

1. ECONOMY OF MATERIAL. Barn structures enclose a large space with the least amount of material possible.

2. WOOD TO WOOD CONNECTIONS. Barn structures rely on pinned mortice and tenon joinery with braces for lateral support.

3. USE OF LOCAL MATERIAL. Barns were usually made with on-site wood. The farmer used trees from his/her property.

These guidelines were followed in the design of the LOVEbench. Ash is a strong wood. All components of the LOVEbench are as slender as the wood will allow. The LOVEbench is made from the least amount of material as possible. All joinery is pinned mortice and tennon. Ash is a local wood. Because of the Emerald Ash Borer infestation, most of Toronto's ash trees will be cut down. The LOVEbench is made from 100% Toronto ash.

Designer Name: Tim Richards

Business Name: South Street Boatbuilders


Name of Piece: Hunt

Description of Piece: Hunt is a coffee table or bench, built with hard-wearing white ash salvaged from damaged urban trees. Built using centuries-old techniques of steam bending, and lashed joinery, it nevertheless provides a contemporary aesthetic of clean, pared-down design, and spare coloured cord accents. Hunt is a lightweight and versatile piece of furniture, inspired by the brilliantly functional design of traditional dogsleds of the Canadian North. It plays to the strengths of white ash as a building material, and conjures images of the expansive landscapes of the north.

Designer Name: Mischa Couvrette

Business Name: hollis+morris


Name of Piece: The oldtown

Juror’s choice: Gareth Brennan

Description of Piece: The oldtown is the result of paying homage to the past while looking to the future. It is sturdy and full of character, and can be both a stool and a side table if flipped upside down.

The piece is blocked up with laminated off cuts of wood then turned eccentrically on a lathe. We have pushed the technological limitations of turning to produce this product. Currently the wood we receive for the oldtown is from Bauhaus Fine Windows And Doors. We are able to reuse all of their off cuts, which are too short for their purposes. We are proud to say that we are now producing the oldtown from exclusively recycled wood.

The oldtown embodies much of our studio’s philosophy. It is rigorous in aesthetic, entirely from recycled material and progressive in design. We hope it becomes an iconic image of hollis+morris.

Designer Name: Blair Baker

Business Name: Baker Brothers


Name of Piece: BB Lounger

Description of Piece: This indoor/outdoor lounge chair is built from a salvaged tree that was destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer. With the vision of something comfortable and sleek, the edges are rounded to give it a soft track-like flow. There is a small storage area inside the frame that is suitable for magazines and other small items. The multiple coats of clear finish accentuate the beautiful grain of the ash wood.

Designer Name: Loïc Bard and Nicolas Granger

Business Name: Loïc Bard


Name of Piece: Sprout Lamps

Description of Piece: Sprout lamps by Loïc Bard and Nicolas Granger furniture makers and designers.

We designed a collection of two table lamps as a continuity of projects we developed together inspired by Japanese, traditional craftsmanship and Thonet chairs. In this project our intention is to combine a creative playful objet with practical feature.

Each lamp has a circular base allowing to the lamp on the base to rotate. The base will be turning wood and it will be finish with black oil. The circle wood around the base and the wooden rod will be bending wood and they will be finish with oil. We will use LED lights insert in the wooden rod. All the lamps will be built in our workshop studio using traditional woodworking processes (bending wood as shown on the photo) where we designed objects with know-how and rigor, and a sense of play.


Designer Name: Mike Sharpe

Business Name: Storyboard Furniture


Name of Piece: Vari Hedron

Description of Piece: This floor or desk lamp is made from the complex geometric combination of 36 pieces of ash wood and 11 pieces of paper. Geometrically speaking, it can be most easily described as a variation of a cuboctohedron. Using traditional joinery: mortise and tenon and bridal, the sturdy ash skeleton is contrasted by a delicate, formed paper skin with ash leaf cluster cutouts. When used with the suggested lamp bulb, your walls will be decorated with the silhouettes of your favourite leaf.

Made to order, "Sharpe's Hedra", is available in a variety of local domestic hardwood species with the default paper cutout being the leaf cluster of the indicated wood species. Custom paper cutouts are available at a design premium. Pendant and post versions of the lamp are forthcoming.

This model comes with white spun metal fittings, 8’ of white wire and switch.

All Storyboard Furniture lamps are ESA certified.

Designer Name: Henry Richardson

Business Name: Post Works

Website: No information

Name of Piece: Windsor chair

Juror’s Choice: Jason Dressler

Description of Piece: This chair design modifies the traditional Windsor chair form while maintaining construction and material practices. The proposed chair takes the overall form of a continuous back Windsor chair but employs the vertical elements as continuous uprights that stretch from the floor to the top rail to provide support and visual uniformity. Ash is traditionally used for the back and spindles on Windsor chairs because of the ease of bending and straight grain. Because of the large number of bent wood members in the proposed design, ash remains the most appropriate wood.

Source: IIDEX Woodshop



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