Inside The Resurfaced Workshop With Her Dog Maeby
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
A cottage in the city. That’s exactly the set-up Nicola has for her woodworking shop, just steps from downtown Toronto. It is here where she escapes and creates, blending her love of art with a knowledge of print technology to make unique prints on all kinds of surfaces. Her dog, Maeby, plays a major role in her day-to-day, content to chill on her dog bed as Nicola works away. Learn more about this talented artisan and how she decided on the much sought after Ganaraskan breed.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like.
When I was in school I studied art history, drawing, stone lithography, copper etching, silk-screening and, eventually, commercial print technology. I love the freedom of creating an image plus the bonus challenge of then making 50 exact copies (in printmaking you usually make a certain number of exact copies, this is part of the skill and art of being a printer). After managing a successful growing print company for seven years I decided to start my own.
Resurfaced is a true blend of my love for art and my knowledge of new print technologies. We take client’s images, make any edits necessary, then we print custom pieces on wood or metal, but we have also done wallpaper, acrylic, glass and tiles. After two years it’s certainly been a rewarding choice. Many clients express their excitement over getting their final pieces and that always make me smile, it’s certainly not something you experience in every job.
When we’re not creating custom pieces we are making wood and metal coasters, other art and wood postcards We sell our items at stores and at markets across Toronto. In between taking photos, creating the designs and files, gathering wood, cutting it up and packaging it all, I teach part-time at Ryerson University. If there’s time at the end of the day I always like to get a bike ride in, even if it’s just my commute, it’s an activity that makes me, me.
Please tell us a bit about your dog. How did she come into your life? Is there a story behind the name or particular breed?
I’ve always loved dogs ever since I can remember. In fact, to get our first family dog, when I was a kid I had to get on the honor roll at school four times! He stayed in Alberta when I moved here as my mom really fell in love with him!
In Toronto I wanted a dog that was on the smaller side with a personality that could adapt to anything. I kept seeing people with this dog that was kind of like a cockapoo but not quite. They were all different colors; black, ginger, blonde and some a mix of colors. I think I must have asked five or six people and they all told me their dogs were a breed called a Ganaraskan. I clearly liked the breed!
The trouble was actually getting one. They are bred in Port Hope, ON, around the Ganaraska river region, and while not an official breed they are certainly sought after. They are a mix of schnauzer, poodle, cocker spaniel and a bichon frise. I named her after a character in the show Arrested Development. Funny thing, at the time I got her, the song, “Call me Maybe” came out, so I had oodles of people singing that song to us when I told them her name!
How would you describe your personal style?
It’s casual but versatile. Working with wood you have to not be too invested in the pieces you are wearing, as it all eventually gets damaged. I tend to wear greys and blacks and pop it with a bright color. I bike as much as I can around the city. If I need to make a delivery to a client or pick-up something from a supplier I’m always making sure I’m wearing something that enables me to do that.
I keep the jewelry very simple, making my own from little trinkets I get on vacations, or buying simple pieces from local artisans that I know. I think my favorite piece of jewelry is a small old skeleton key I got at Spitalfields Market, which is a popular antique market in London, England, which been around since 1638. I just took the key and placed it on a chain. I love its simplicity.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
Functional and funky! When you open the door to our home you are greeted by a large number of bikes. There are four of them on a stand against the wall. The stand allows us the functionality of just grabbing them as we are about to go on a ride, but also, the brightly colored bikes themselves are quite beautiful to look at.
Most of the furniture and accent pieces you see have meaning to us or a story behind them. Our coffee table is an old wooden trunk that was given to us by my boyfriend’s grandpa. On the mantle, we have a replica saber tooth tiger skull named Douglas, a lucky horseshoe, an iron railway spike and then to contrast all of this we have a soft, single paper flower made by The Lilly Guild, a local Toronto artisan that I know.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
An ideal weekend would be to hang out in a cozy cabin in a tall pine forest in British Columbia. We’d go mountain biking or gravel biking during the day and come home to our dog to cook a nice meal on the BBQ. In this ideal scenario I wouldn’t be opposed to the cabin being close to a nice cold lake or if it had a hammock!
What inspires you?
What inspires me most is challenging myself. I’ve recently taken up mountain biking and at first all obstacles seemed overwhelmingly huge. But there’s a good motto when riding, which I think really applies to life too. It’s, “look at where you want to go.” Don’t focus on what you have done that didn’t work, just look ahead and try and try again and eventually you will succeed.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about Maeby?
Lol, I could write a chapter on how funny Maeby is. She makes me smile everyday and I’m so thankful we have her in our lives. I think one of the funniest things she does is takes her food from her bowl, eats some but also “shares” some with us by putting it on the carpet in the family room. She goes back and forth from the family room to her bowl until she has a little collection. This one time she was doing this back and forth ritual with a little more pace than usual and when she swung her head around a piece of kibble actually launched out of her mouth and hit us while we were sitting on the couch. We were laughing so hard. She just sat there wagging her tail, clearly proud of her achievement. There’s so much personality in that little body.