Doug Klassen developed a penchant for creative construction at a very early age. When he was five years old, his family moved to Zaire with MCC to do mission work focusing on agricultural development. Raised by mennonite parents and the families of the local community, Doug spent most of his time making his own toys from whatever materials were available: ballpoint pens, string, palm wood, pieces of wire, tin cans, cardboard, mud - whatever he could find. He spent countless hours carving nails out of bamboo, disassembling shipping crates and skids, salvaging materials, and straightening used nails. At the age of eight, and with no access to power tools, Doug built his first table.
At the age of 15, he returned to Canada for high school and later, studied graphic design and animation at Centennial & Sheridan College. Steeped in the discipline of esthetic design and detailed craftsmanship, Doug's focus turned toward glass etching and sand carving; works of which have been featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario
Living in Turks and Caicos in his late twenties, Doug sharpened his carpentry skills building high quality custom cabinets and furniture. Increased focus on design unveiled a natural proclivity for artistic mastery, and perfection.
Settling back in Niagara to raise his son, Doug successfully operated a general contracting company for over 20 years, and mastered many other trades in the process. Never backing down from a challenge, Doug is energized through learning and self-improvement. Doug's recent pieces reveal a marked return to his childhood soil. "Growing up in Zaire, and witnessing people with very little, I am strongly influenced by the use of refuse, scrap, and what ever simple materials they had available to them to create beautiful, practical things." With Doug's creations, he not only makes furniture that is useful, but he saves wood from the fate of refuse and imortalizes its beauty. As a recovering perfectionist, designing and building with barrel staves is the perfect media to stretch his boundaries.