wood has a story. what started as a seed grows – perhaps to become a dinner table where generations of families and friends play out their lives. or perhaps a pallet carrying goods from a far-off place starts a new chapter. that’s how Dan Longtin sees it.
Dan is a cabinet maker by trade and an artist by heart. he’s founder of Bear Hands Woodworking, a company that makes fine furniture with reclaimed wood and recycled materials. he had been working for decades in the construction and renovation business, and started making things for friends with used wood and left-over construction material. it was well-received, and gave Dan a chance to put good materials to good use. he sees furniture parts where others do not, and seeks opportunities to create. he says, “I love the idea of taking something old and discarded, and turning into something new and useful again.”
recycling and repurposing is very important to Dan. he aims to create unique pieces from reclaimed wood while diverting reusable materials from the landfill. along with being an expert woodworker, Dan is an artist, anthropologist and historian. he’s dedicated to continuing the story of his materials. for instance, the ‘library table’ (on the Bear Hands Woodworking website) were crafted from old beams from the barracks at the American Base in Quidi Vidi. a pair of louvered doors from Bay Bulls were used to create a bookcase, and rope from old fishing nets were used to create porch chairs (Dan is sitting in one in the profile photo). the stories continue. Dan is always working on something, and enjoys doing speciality custom work.