My name is Cameron MacLean, and I make functional and decorative home objects along with wooden bike accessories for Off Cut Studio. I live in Toronto, Canada.
After I finished studying plant ecology at university, I realized I had been ignoring the more spontaneous and creative side of my mind. I began collecting old pieces of furniture (or any scrap of wood for that matter) to try and make something from it. Soon, I came to realize what a wonderfully versatile and beautiful material wood is. It can be made to look contemporary or rustic; you can bend it, carve it, and stain it; you can find it almost anywhere you go. I can’t imagine ever growing tired of all the possibilities and challenges that wood presents.
My works often start out as a desire to incorporate a shape or form into something for the home. It could be a design element from a vintage dresser, or the line of an absent-minded doodle that inspires me. Other times, my designs are born out of a specific need – I might have to do something with the growing stack of offcuts in my shop or find a way to carry groceries home on my bike. The next step is to make an object that will last as long as possible.
Careful construction, unique custom hardware, and local sustainable woods are often considerations in my designs. I use skills that I’ve acquired from working with accomplished furniture makers to develop a wide variety of high-quality objects, and I’m always happy to make custom designs with clients. I believe this combination of quality, variety, and customization sets Off Cut Studio apart from other businesses.
Custom orders are an important part of my business: they give me a great wealth of ideas for new products, and they tell me what kind of items people are looking for and how they’ll use them. For example, a woman who wanted a way to bring her dog Stanley along on bike rides requested a custom design. After some back and forth, I came up with a design that she and Stanley were happy with, and now the two of them regularly go on adventures together.
Etsy has been invaluable to me as a self-employed craftsman. My partner Anneke (of Touch The Dutch) and I have a long-term goal of buying a home in the beautiful highlands of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Etsy is an important part of this goal because it will allow us to reach handmade enthusiasts all around the world, despite living in such a remote area.