Tag Archives: innovators_of_vancouver

Reflections on John Furniss – Fine Woodworker Video

A few days ago when I posted a link to the latest “Innovators of Vancouver” video I neglected to include my thoughts about it. Let me first say that as a child each and every Saturday, I participated in a group at the Industrial Home for the Blind (now known as the Helen Keller Institute). The group was comprised of 5-7 kids who were challenged with a visual disability. Some had vision similar to mine, and others were completely blind. We typically would spend our time going to parks, playing games and horsing around.

I always wondered as a child what would become of these kids and how they would fair as adults given their challenges. Well, this video struck a chord with me and showed me exactly what they are probably are doing today. I’m sure they are asking themselves the same question of me and others.

Frankly, I know that my parents were concerned about me and my ability to lead a life with limited vision. I’m glad that they don’t have to worry about that anymore.

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John Furniss: A Blind Woodworker

John is an amazing human being. He is kind, loves a good joke, and creates beautiful pieces of furniture. He is also happens to be blind. I first met John through his wife Anni Becker Furniss. She was featured in an earlier episode of Innovators of Vancouver and also a student in my video production class. She often talked about the work John created and that he loved to work with his hands. I knew one day making a video about how he did it was going to happen.

As John works on his wood lathe, he shares how he learned about exotic hardwoods, the visual blueprints that he turns into a reality, and how woodworking is his meditation. When he can, he volunteers at Habitat for Humanity repairing small engines and even builds things.

Thank you to John for welcoming me to his shop as he creates his next masterpiece for Innovators of Vancouver. — Chris Martin

 

Rewind 2010: Innovators of Vancouver Episode #4 – Bruce & Gayle Elgort

Earlier today I was talking with one of my web developments students who came across the “Innovators of Vancouver” video series produced by Chris Martin owner of Vancouver, Washington’s “Chris Martin Studios“. She noted how lucky she was to have a person like me as one of her instructors. It has been awhile since I watched this video and I am truly blessed by what Gayle, Matt and I were able to accomplish.