Wood-turning prodigy carves out his own business

Although just 11 years old, Grimsby’s Brodie Watson has turned his wood turning hobby into a cottage industry, making trinkets and bowls out of exotic wood and colourful acrylic. Marks – Photo

By Tristan Marks

Although just 11 years old, Brodie Watson is quickly becoming a master of his craft.

Just two years ago, the Grimsby resident took up wood-turning as a hobby and- with help from his family- has already turned it into his own cottage industry.

These days, Brodie makes hand-crafted wood bowls, acrylic wine stoppers and even pens using his trusty lathe and wood gouges.

He said it all started when he was nine years old, visiting a craft show at the Wood Shed supply store in Smithville.

“There was a lady there woodturning and making tops, and I thought it looked cool,” Brodie said.
Starting off with a 2 ft. lathe given to him by his father, Brodie began learning and practicing the craft as much as he could.

“The hardest part was learning how to use the lathe and making sure chips don’t fly off,” Brodie said. “I only had one bowl fly off on me. It didn’t hit anything though.”

Brodie’s family was quick to take note of his enthusiasm.

“His uncle suggested Brodie attend a woodturning seminar at Lee Valley,” said Brodie’s mom, Jennifer.

Not only did Brodie hone his skill with this seminar, it also helped launch his business.

Jennifer posted pictures of the wine stoppers and other pieces he made during the event on Facebook. Requests poured in from her friends asking if Brodie could make things for them.

“It just kind of exploded from there,” Jennifer said. “Especially this year. I guess people are trying to support local business with Covid these days.”

Brodie has since branded his business as BW Acrylic & Wood Designs, and puts much of his profits into upgrading his work shop.

Brodie has bought much of his tools and supplies himself. This includes Brodie’s current 6 ft. lathe that he saved $1000 for through sales.

After two years, the young wood-worker has grown a penchant for exotic woods. His favourite piece is a bowl he carved out of plum wood. Unusual woods of every colour, such as wenge, redheart and applewood sit in Brodie’s workshop, waiting to be transformed into vibrant bowls.

For all his skill, Brodie still keeps a humble view of his work. The wood-worker said he’s waiting for “when [he’s] ready] to work on a lot of the exotic woods in his collection.

“I want to make sure I build my skills more. A lot of these bowl blanks are expensive,” Brodie explained.

This Christmas season, Brodie has already made 1000 wooden wine toppers. To order from him or to see photos and videos of his process, visit facebook.com/bwacrylic.

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