Saskatchewan woodworking artist wins national award

Michael Hosaluk, a Saskatoon-based artist and educator, is the 2016 recipients of the Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership . Courtesy of Michael Hosaluk

A woodworking artist and educator based in Saskatoon has been given a national arts award.

On Wednesday, the Canadian Crafts Federation announced Michael Hosaluk was the recipient of the 2016 Robert Jekyll Award for Leadership in Craft.

The award recognizes contributors in Canada’s craft community.

Hosaluk was born in 1954 in Ivernay, Sask. and describes himself as a self-taught artist.

“I think what’s interesting about it that’s recognized that I really haven’t come from a formal background and education,” Hosaluk said.

“And to honour an educator for kind of introducing innovative, new approaches to passing on knowledge to others is interesting.”

Some of the woodwork he has created include furniture, sculpture pieces and vessels.

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“It’s really a mix,” Hosaluk said.

“I like the creative part of it where it doesn’t matter what area of the woodturning, the furniture, the sculpture, it’s where you really push yourself to try to create something unique and special.”

When he was starting out, Hosaluk, took a one-year course in cabinetmaking and millwork but decided he wanted to learn about fine woodworking more.

“I wanted to learn a lot about woodworking and in Saskatchewan, there’s no place that you could learn,” Hosaluk said.

The Saskatchewan Woodworkers Guild was founded by Hosaluk in 1979 and he started holding woodworking conferences in 1982 that brought in teachers from around the world.

“So what it developed was a really strong community of woodworking here and gave us all the opportunity to learn from the best in the world.”

After presenting at the conferences, Hosaluk was invited to lecture and host workshops nationally and internationally.

“I try to not use what I normally but what to try something totally new or to push myself to go in directions I’ve never gone before,” Hosaluk said.

“I think that’s part of what I’ve been awarded for is that unique style of teaching that I can go into a classroom, do very formal presentations but I can also break down those barriers and open up the form for everyone to learn together.

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Hosaluk said his name was put forward by the Saskatchewan Craft Council.

However, it was a good friend of Hosaluk’s, Ron David, a fellow woodworker from Sidney, B.C., who suggested Hosaluk to the council.

The award will be presented on Oct. 14 during the opening reception of the Canadian Crafts Federation annual conference in Calgary.

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