Local Artisan Spotlight: Joe & Shelley Bench

As I sit here on this beautiful sunny day, I know exactly where Joe & Shelley Bench can be found. They've been waiting all winter long for weather like this so they can get back to work in their outdoor workshop! 
This Niagara team, based in St. Catharines, has been delighting their customers with handcrafted wood creations for over 3 years. They enjoy working with reclaimed wood that has been donated by friends and family, or salvaged from their long walks exploring local beaches and forest trails. 
"We make a really wide variety of items because the idea for the product follows whatever materials we find. Scraps of materials that appear destined for the dump provide an unlimited source of inspiration! You have to look at each piece of wood to see what lies inside. Wood is so amazing and beautiful."
It is obvious that Shelley and Joe love what they do... it is infused in every piece of art they create. From their baby rattles, keepsake boxes, to live edge furniture, each item is finished with care and perfection. I really can't get over just how smooth everything is! You have to feel it to believe it. I think it must have something to do with their house made 'spoon butter'. 
When they aren't in their workshop, Joe and Shelley can be found volunteering at a variety of community charitable organizations.
"As the saying goes, no one gets through life without some help from someone else. We are very fortunate to have a very comfortable life and hope we can share that good fortune with others."
In the fall, they can also be found at the St. Catharines Farmers Market and Christmas time means they'll be out and about Niagara's handmade markets and fairs, including Hernder Winery, Ridley College and Christmas in the Country (Fenwick). I am lucky enough to have their work in the shop throughout the year!
After Christmas, if all goes as planned they head someplace warm to wait out the worst of winter and start over again.
I think they have life all figured out!

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