In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to Cortes Island entrepreneur and Arbutus wood carver Ron Bazar.  Ron has lived on the island since 1998, and is now in his 21st year here. Ron focuses on practical wood products made from Arbutus tree wood. Listen as Ron describes what he does, how he has learned to create a product and what types of products he started out with.

Maureen Bader
Art on the Island featuring Ron Bazar

Ron sells in stores all over the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands and says at least part of his marketing success is the consistent quality of his products. As an entrepreneur, Ron has a wide variety of activities but for his wood products, he finds that his practical wood products sell the best. Ron sells in stores all over the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands and says at least part of his marketing success is the consistent quality of his products.

Ron describes the range and quality of Arbutus wood and how the wood starts to change colour and when. Ron has a range of qualities and describes why some wood gets into the supreme grain.

Ron gives a great description of how and why to be productive if one wants to make a living at art. Even today, he still finds ways to improve and become more efficient at what he does. Finding and working with the wood are very physical, labour intensive activities, including traveling into the bush with a chain saw to cut found wood into manageable lengths to take out of the bush and work with in the shop.

Ron’s dream is to get a group of Arbutus artists together and put on a show featuring arbutus art and products, as this is a very incredible wood.

Listen as Maureen and Ron talk about the business aspect of being successful as an artist. Improving one’s process is a continuous activity. Asking: how can I do this better and more efficiently is how Ron has improved his quality since he started out.

You can see Ron’s work at the Cortes Craft Shop and on his website: artbutusarts.com.