About The Artist
Canadian Artist – Deborah Groenheyde
Deborah Groenheyde is a Canadian multi-media artist, and the creator of the Hand & Paw Project™
Please watch this video to hear Deborah’s story in her own words.
Deborah Groenheyde has always had an aesthetic eye. For many years she used it for interior design, while working alongside her husband, Marten, in their home renovation business.
In 2003 Deb and Marten attended a woodworking class to learn how to use a lathe. Although she was the only woman in a class full of men, Deb confidently approached the wood pile, and selected the beautiful piece of figured and spalted cherry wood from which she would craft her first bowl – her father was a respected woodworker, and although she had never worked with it herself, she had grown up watching him bring wood to life in his shop. She had always loved the aromas of the wood.
She attached her piece of cherry to the lathe and, as the machine turned the wood at 3800 revolutions per minute, began her journey as an artist. While Deb was working through the steps to make the bowl, Jack Wayne, the instructor, asked if he could stand behind her and watch while she worked.
After a while he turned the lathe off and asked how long she had been turning bowls. When Deb replied that this was her first time, Jack told her that she handled the tools like “a seasoned wood turner” and that he’d assumed she had been using them for at least a year. He encouraged Deb to embrace her natural talent for woodworking, something he had only witnessed in a small handful of students among the thousands he had taught over the years.
As Deb worked to complete her bowl, always respectful of the powerful equipment she was using, the wood grain slowly revealed the final pattern that it would take – a distinctive letter V. Deb’s mother is named Vera, and she still has that first bowl that Deb made.
Deb has continued working with wood, and one day when her Dad came for a visit, she was able to share the lathe with him. While Deb and her father worked on a project together, her husband was in the background watching, and was amazed at how they both used the woodworking tools in the same way. As they maneuvered their way around the piece of wood, and as her father turned his first bowl, the similarities were profound. These are fond memories.
In 2006, Deborah started playing with Semi-Precious stones. She loved all the beautiful stones and findings, and began a collection that she sourced from around the world.
As she became known for making one of a kind jewelry, and as her client base grew, Deb realized that she wanted to make her own components from sterling silver and other semi-precious metals that would complement natural beauty of the stones.
When Deborah mentioned to her father that she was hammering sterling and other precious metals, he reminded her that her Grandfather was a Ferrier for the British Army back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Deborah believes that the artistic talents of her Father and Grandfather flow through her in a profound way, and feels blessed to have received these gifts.
Her hand-forged jewelry is asymmetrical, interesting, and always unique. No two pieces are alike. They are Wearable Works of Art, and they command attention when worn.
In 2016 Deborah was inspired to start the Hand & Paw Project™
Deborah’s ability to capture her feelings in her art is apparent in the Hand and Paw Project™ line of jewelry.
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