Murray Finn

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Artist Statement

Sometimes I think I have sawdust in my veins because the look and feel of fine woods are an ongoing fascination for me. Colour, texture and grain offer endless combinations for designing boxes —especially using native species such as Maple and Walnut as well as the exotic woods of Rosewood, Bloodwood, and Purpleheart. 


After sketching rough drawings, I refine my plans using computer software to draft a pattern.  At this point, the complexity of the form challenges my interest in puzzles and mathematics. Using pine, a prototype is first constructed to solve any problems with the box’s form and function. Once these refinements are made, I must decide what combinations of wood will make the best box. Cutting, fitting, & sanding with both power and hand tools follows until I am satisfied with the appearance and functionality of the piece. Lastly, the finish is applied, sometimes followed by buffing and polishing, depending on the finish used.   


Born in Orillia, Murray moved to Elliot Lake with his family in 1975 to teach school and enjoy the convenience of recreation opportunities at his doorstep.  His love of wood began in childhood, from building forts and to birdhouses, and continued into adult life with home repairs and construction projects. 


Retiring from teaching in1999, Murray began doing fine woodworking with hardwoods and exotic woods, creating small decorative boxes that evolved into complicated designs that reflected his love of form and function.


Murray is represented by several area art galleries and has participated in juried shows in Northeastern and Southern Ontario, including the Petroff Gallery in Toronto, garnering awards and recognition for his boxes in the process.


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705.210 0290

1320 Perivale Road East,

Spring Bay,

Manitoulin Island, ON


Welcome to our 43rd season as we celebrate the work of so many exceptional & creative Canadian artists! Open mid- May until mid- September, and open on line ALL year. Shannon McMullan & her staff look forward to your visit. Embrace the unique!