Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas to all of my customers and students

If you’ve received one of my creations as a Christmas gift: I do hope you enjoy it. if you have any questions please do use my  Get In Touch   link.

If you’re interested in staying on top of what I create, or where I’ll be teaching in 2018,  I’m really active on Instagram, so keep an eye there for pictures of creations, classes, and other projects I’ll be working on.



The site was hacked. Hopefully fixed.

Thanks to folks for a couple of quick warnings about the site being hacked.

It was indeed true, and it should be fixed now:  all posts were compromised with an injected link that sent you off to inappropriate sites.

My concern is that this hack attack seems far too focussed specifically on my site, so I will be doing some investigating.

Haven’t posted in a while: updates.

Its been a busy few months at Distinctive Woodworking:  more wood time than website time.

As always: the best way to stay up to date is to keep an eye on my instagram feed at or my facebook feed at  and of course my “get in touch” link at the top here works perfectly.

I’ve got a couple of dozen classes coming  up at Lee Valley tools locations, so look on the Lee Valley website.

I’ll be teaching in Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo before the end of the year.

A little bit of fun work:   a friend snapped this beautiful picture of one of my pens with the house of commons in the background.

And the benefits of an Ottawa summer:  assembling and sanding chairs on the patio!

Viennese Winter Ball, and thanks.

Well, one must always know when its time to add something to the blog… When one realizes that its been since Christmas!

Last night was the Viennese Winter Ball.  Its one of our favourite events to support because of the combination of fantastic youth fundraising, lovely music, and good company.

We had the opportunity to provide over  forty custom made presentation gifts this year, and while that was a tremendous amount of work, seeing the joy on so many of the recipients was absolutely worth it. The photos below are quick “panoramics” of many of the items just prior to my daughter doing the final tests to make sure they all work.



Unlike last year, I just didn’t have the time to blog about creating all the items,  so I’ll put in a couple of photos here.  As always, if you are interested in talking about music or woodworking or would like a lovely pen to please get in touch.  Just below is a picture of one of the items:  it was offered in the silent auction: I hope the winners love it:  made from Canadian maple and finished with a long-lasting polish I am sure they will love it for years.


My next big projects are to complete a couple of furniture commissions and to get ready for some spring artisan markets.  I have less “pen” stock on hand right now, so many items (especially fountain pens) will be built to order, but that is always fun.  I need to finish a “prairie settle” for my wife, it will end up looking like this:



But right now… it looks like this.. 🙁


Upcoming Events and Product availability for Ottawa at Home Readers

I’ve got an active Facebook page at Distinctive Woodworking/Pens By Jonathan at Facebook  which keeps an active list of upcoming events but if you’re coming from Ottawa At Home Magazine a little bit of additional information.
I do not have a ‘bricks and mortar’ store, but maintain an active set of ETSY sales and a store presence with the fantastic Ottawa business Givopoly Place an order online, and they deliver it direct to you or your gift recipient. If you’re looking for something specific, please get in touch.

I also do a tremendous amount of business this time of year at craft markets:

I’ve already been at the Chance Foundation event at Aberdeen Pavillion, ETSY Made in Canada, and the 613 Flea show at Lansdowne.  I’ll be Hintonburg at the Community Centre on the 19th of December,   at Tudor Hall off Riverside Drive at IBM on December 20th,  at the Museum of History (Former Museum of Civilization) for four days from December 1st to December 4th. I”ll be at the OVCC show at the Place D’Orleans Mall on December 3rd and December 4th, at Nokia’s private sale on December 5th and 6th and wrapping up the season at the Beechwood Farmers market on December 17th

If you know of an event you’d like to see me at, please get in touch.

And of course, I’m happy to meet one on one with you to discuss business or corporate orders including custom branding of presentation gift items as well as custom furniture commissions.  (sample photos are available in my gallery but a couple of perfect images follow )

How to get in touch.

Solid Cherry and Wenge Dining Room Chair

One of my all time favourite pens, maple burl with african blackwood inlay
One of my all time favourite pens, maple burl with african blackwood inlay

Sample Engravings


Hello to visitors from Music and Beyond

If you’re coming to my page thanks to my advertisement in the Music and Beyond program, thank you.
If you are interested in furniture or beautiful pens, please get in touch, either by leaving a comment to this post, or using the ‘contact me page’ at the top of the website.

With apologies: not all of my photos are as good as I would like:  woodworking is often more fun than website maintenance.

As an example of my work, I recently completed a commission for a government client: a maple presentation pen, with maple highlights on the pen mechanism, with an engraved box. I can prepare custom work for your needs either personal or professional for a wide range of price needs.

Maple Pen in Box Maple Pen on marble Maple pen on Marble Engraved Box for Supreme Court

Thanks to the Ottawa Modern Quilt guild, and to Cheerfully Made Markets!

This weekend (the May 7/8) weekend was a handful.

Presenting as a vendor at the Cheerfully Made Market in Almonte with my wood turned items at the same time as my friend Krista (of ) was arranging to display my quilt racks at the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild’s event at the Ottawa RA centre made for a busy busy weekend.

Thanks to Emily Arbour of for her hard work at creating the event in Almonte, and thanks to the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild for their event

There was a lot of attention to the quilt racks at the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild:  Please get in touch if you’d like some lovely furniture.

I take the perspective that an heirloom quality quilt deserves heirloom quality furniture.   If one puts hundreds of hours into creating a quilt, then skimping on a rack that will bow, bend, or warp after a few months is false economy.   I design my quilt racks to be as much of an heirloom as the quilt that is displayed on the rack. That includes quality joinery, a high quality preparation job on the wood so that there are no sharp edges or splinters, and a long lasting finish that will be compatible with the fabric of the quilt.  More expensive, but  a beautiful quilt deserves no less.


Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 8.27.45 PM

So why Distinctive Woodworking?

Why have I created Distinctive Woodworking?
Custom furniture has developed an undeserved reputation for being too expensive: leading people to think they can only afford cheap particle board and plywood furniture from places like Ikea. The result? Furniture that only lasts a few short years and then ends up in landfill.

So why not spend a little bit more (not as much as you think!) and end up with a piece of furniture that will last long enough you can pass it onto your kids?

A timeless piece of furniture like these?   Stay in touch and lets continue the journey.

Solid Cherry chest of drawers
Two shaker style side tables in curly maple.

Welcome to my world of custom furniture.

Thanks for coming to have a look.

Distinctive Furniture is about quality hand made furniture made from locally and responsibly sourced woods at a price that more people can afford. My goal: to ensure that more people can enjoy a quality piece of furniture.

Bedroom furniture, dining room furniture, or  custom creations: get in touch and lets get to work.