The covers for these books are made up of a variety of exotic woods creatively handcrafted by Tore Vollan. Tore is the Bestefar (Norwegian for grandpa) of my goddaughter Hannah.
Tore was born in Trondheim, Norway in 1931. He immigrated to Canada then moved to Washington State where he became a citizen and met his wife. He became superintendent of a construction company, but when his granddaughter was born, he retired, and devoted the rest of his life to help raising her. It was at this point that he began focusing on his woodworking. He crafted fine clocks, chests, trays, and jewelry boxes for over 20 years, often having his work displayed in galleries and winning awards. As he got older he made less and less, not just because he was tired, but because he didn’t feel he had a purpose. Then his granddaughter suggested he make a set of book covers for her godmother to make into a journal. This renewed his joy of woodworking and he swiftly created hundreds of covers that his granddaughter would either bring in her suitcase or mail to Winnipeg.
Tore died in April of 2018. His last act in his workshop was to pack up all of his unfinished work to send to Canada.
I am so honoured to be able to incorporate Tore’s beautifully crafted wooden covers into the books that I make and I treasure every set that sits in my studio ready to be transformed into a book.
This collection is currently at Woodlands Gallery in Winnipeg as part of their emerging artists’ holiday exhibition.