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Heartwood Studio

Heartwood Studio

Woodturner Ken Broadland worked as a Conservation Officer on southern Vancouver Island for 29 years before retiring in 2002.  His skills are self-taught and follow from working with wood on a larger scale, having built two log homes including Heartwood House near Duncan, where he and his wife Jan have lived since 1978.


Ken's main goal in turning wood is to present the wood's beauty in a useable form. His specialty is large salad bowls and servers, with a supporting cast of other creations such as cutting boards, kitchen implements, small bowls, coasters, cremation urns, artistic bowls, and whatever else catches his interest and is supported by his customers. Designs are simple and practical. His work sells well because it is attractive, functional and reasonably priced.

His favourite woods to work with are local Bigleaf Maple and Arbutus (Madrone) - maple because of its wide variety of exquisite grains, and arbutus because of its hardness and durability. He has also worked with many other tree species, including fruitwoods such as cherry, plum and apple; hardwoods such as dogwood, oak, beech, acacia, holly and sumac; and softwoods such as red cedar, yellow cedar, Sitka Spruce, Douglas fir, juniper and yew (a very hard, tight-grained softwood).

The wood Ken uses is salvaged from around the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. In the interest of conservation, he uses mostly trees that have been downed by the wind or felled for safety reasons. There is very little waste, as he uses the McNaughton System to produce small bowls from inside big ones, turns scraps of wood into small items such as butter knives, and burns any residual wood in his woodstove.

All of his products have non-toxic, food-friendly finishes on them. He starts with walnut oil and then top-coats each item with beeswax.