Brian Knockaert – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #19

November 2013

Brian Knockaert

Brian Knockaert

For the month of November, Winnipeg River Arts Council features artist Brian Knockaert, a self-taught wood turner. Born and raised in St. Boniface, Manitoba, he moved to his cabin in St. Georges in 1998. He spent most of his working life in the steel industry and also worked at Pine Falls Hospital before retiring in 2008.

Knockaert combines his creative artistry and woodworking knowledge to create unique pieces. Over the years, he practiced his art and used various resources to build his skills; books, YouTube videos and internet research have been the most helpful.

His love of woodworking started with refinishing old furniture. This led to restoring old clocks and building his own. He began to carve birds, caricatures and walking sticks for family and friends.

After someone gave him an old lathe, he started to create pieces from the trees around him. Then he bought a bigger lathe from his brother and started to “play with turning wood.” His wife, Donna-Rae, teases him that he has a lathe addiction. The larger lathe helps him craft more intricate creations, protecting the natural integrity of each piece.

Knockaert can look at the block of wood and see a finished piece. Local woods such as Manitoba maple, black and white ash, birch and willow are commonly used. Many friends and neighbours are always “on the lookout” for distinctive chunks of wood, which he crafts into works each with their own character, style and finish.

Selling his creations was never his plan; this was a simple hobby of love and creativity to share with those he chose. But when family and friends started to ask to buy his objects, he started to sell them. It still surprises Brian when someone wants to purchase one of his works. The most interesting part of selling is where the pieces have gone – throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Switzerland and Australia. Currently Brian’s works are sold locally at “Through the Arbour” in Pine Falls or by email (click here).

Knockaert-wood-art

Brian Knockaert Art

Knockaert-art

Brian Knockaert Art

Knockaert-piece

Brian Knockaert Art