Karel Aelterman — Gatineau, Québec

I have always been impressed by people who have been doing woodworking since they were kids. I thought that this was the only way to become a talented, successful cabinetmaker. I didn’t discover woodworking myself, however, until I moved to Canada in my early thirties. This paradigm kept me from developing a career as a furniture maker for quite some time. But the desire to become a cabinetmaker did not go away. As time went by, it was becoming more evident that enhancing the inherent beauty of wood was very fulfilling for me.

In 2003, I realized the time had come for me to face some of those old fears and circumstances led me to discover a course offered in Ontario where Robert Van Norman, as resident-instructor, was at that time the driving force behind a twelve-week intensive artisan cabinetmaking course.

Robert is able to translate his craftsmanship and passion into a thrilling experience for all students. He is an inspiring teacher and a warm person. He gave me confidence in my ability to accomplish fine work and helped me explore and discover my own personal sensitivity towards materials and form.