We exist for two reasons:
1. To make the best wood coffee cups ever. Period. Exclamation point.
2. To stand for local, ethically made dishes.
Here at the Tipsy Dish Co., I'm constantly striving to make the best wood coffee cups ever. Period. Exclamation point. While learning my craft, I quickly realized that if I was to carve my place in the industry, I would need something unique; something innovative. Enter the coffee cup. Coffee cups are a challenge. Technically they can be difficult to turn, but the real challenge lies in treating the wood. With improper treatment, the wood will split, leak or leech dangerous chemicals into hot drinks. With proper treatment and care, a wood cup is healthy as glass and will last a lifetime.
I want to stand for local, ethically made dishes. As a culture, we have demanded inexpensive products (dishes, clothes, food etc.). We've pushed manufacturers to make products in the cheapest way possible. Even in today's world, this leads to slave labour. Countless workers are forced to work extreme hours for little to no compensation; in fact, there are more slaves today than there were at the height of the Slave Trade we learn about in history class. To combat this, I strive to use renewable Canadian resources. The wood is local, the oils for finishing are produced in Canada, paints are made in the USA, and as much as possible I purchase tools and equipment second hand or from Canadian Manufactures.
Standing for quality and ethics isn't easy, but The Tipsy Dish Co. doesn't exist to provide a simple living. We are quality, we are creativity, and we are ethical. Are we crazy? No. We are Tipsy.
Timothy Lemont -- Dishmaker and Woodturner
My introduction to woodturning came through an instructor and artist in my hometown of Boston, Ontario; Paul Ross. He graciously offered to teach 12-year old Timmy how to make bowls and spindles on a lathe. In High school, I began working on a small Rockwell-Beaver Lathe; powered by an old washing machine motor, it had a lot of character. After graduating, I stopped working with wood for about a year. It wasn't until I found an old magazine with instructions for a homemade banjo that I remembered how much I loved making things with my hands.
A few months later I traveled to Maine to attend The Center For Furniture Craftsmanship and studied woodturning under Beth Ireland, a master in her own right. There my love for art was fueled; I spent every spare minute in the shop designing, carving and painting... and drinking coffee with the class. After completing the Turning Intensive, I returned to Canada and began working as a cabinetmaker. I am now in the process of going full time as a dishmaker and artist.
When I put down my gouge and sweep up the shavings, I'm as involved as I can be in the community. For over 6 years I've been heavily involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship, even interning with them for 16 months. I still help out leading clubs and camps for at-risk kids from the community. I also mentor community teens while teaching woodturning with Organized Kaos, a trades-based drop in centre. As a Christian, I firmly believe that sharing Christ love with others is a far more important task than making wood cups, no matter how fun it may be. My hope is that The Tipsy Dish Co. will allow me the flexibility to continue reaching out to kids in tough situations.