Kathy & Jim Sawada Toronto, Canada


  • 1998 1st Prize Canadian Workshop Show

  • 2002 - Starting out!

  • 2019 - Still going strong!


Kathy and Jim Sawada, Toronto, Canada

Shows & Exhibitions   Retail Outlets    Awards & Recognitions 

We are a husband/wife team who ventured into the fine crafts field in 1997. It became a full-time occupation for both of us in 2002. It’s a great head-space! Before entering the fine craft field, Jim held various management and technical positions in the computer technology field. Kathy was an accredited teacher and stay-at-home mother. She also conceived, planned, organized and conducted programs for groups of preschoolers.

We are both self-taught. Research, experimentation and imagination keep us moving along on the road of discovery. Our work has evolved and continues to do so.

Kathy's Story:

I had never used, or even considered, wood as my medium for artistic expression. I got involved in woodworking when I discovered the scroll saw (while killing time in yet another tool store waiting for Jim to poke through all the available gizmos). Jim has been a hobby woodworker and cabinetmaker for years and had made beautiful boxes.

I moved up to the band saw when I started to design free-form, sculptured boxes. Those creations got me involved in an exhibition at the Varley Gallery in Unionville. The Varley Gallery subsequently invited me to participate in a couple of fundraisers, Benchmark and Reflections, neither of which had any relationship to my band saw boxes, but both of which sent me off into completely new directions. Benchmark required artists to convert a provided rough-hewn milking stool into a work of art.Reflections posed a similar challenge using a provided framed mirror.

My works were a hit. But, I couldn’t build the underlying benches and frames. Enter Jim’s cabinet making (and rising to the challenge). The rest, as they say, is history.

One of the things that is the most fun in this work is that I never know what will be created next! Having had no formal training, I can do whatever amuses me…and sometimes the finished product is a complete surprise!!

Jim's Story:

As a newly married young man with little money but a lot of curiosity it was essential that I embrace new skills of many kinds. Plastering and painting came first. Close on their heels were changing diapers and learning to sleep and think at the same time.

My formal education and my initial career were computer related.....but we all know the importance of a meaningful hobby. It was Kathy's father, Fred, who introduced me to the joys of woodworking: first enticing me with a small table saw, then with some of his chisels, then some techniques and encouragement and some very good advice (as well as some very bad advice). It was a learning curve that I embraced with enthusiasm.

As my family grew, my skills were challenged and expanded with practice...practice ...practice: building book shelves, beds, desks, cabinets, a dollhouse, a go-cart. I discovered and learned to love all of the grains, colours, strengths and weaknesses of various woods.

Then the day came that the family was grown and there were no more beds or desks or shelves to be made.......but.... Kathy has always loved boxes......so I started to make boxes. And I continue to make boxes.

Each box is a personal journey for me as I choose the colours and size and conceive the design. It is important to me that each box is unique in some way. Each is handmade with patience and attention to every detail. It's the pride of the artisan in me perhaps...I like to think so.

Juried Exhibitions

  • A Turned Tale, 2002
         The Guild Shop, Toronto, Ontario 
  • Odyssey 2001
          Scarborough Arts Council, Scarborough, Ontario
  • Out Of The Box,  2001
          A Show Of Hands, Toronto, Ontario
  • Kathleen Gormley McKay Art Centre,1998
          Markham, Ontario


Juried Shows

  • The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival, 2018, 2019
        Scarborough, Ontario
  • Artistry By The Lake, 2000-2002, 2007
          Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
  • Art In The Park, 2007
           Scarborough Arts Council,  Scarborough, Ontario
  • Beaches Arts & Craft Show, 1999-2000, 2006-2007
         Toronto, Ontario
  • Art Naturally, 1998-2002, 2004-2006
           Scarborough Arts Council,
           Scarborough, Ontario
  • Muskoka Arts & Crafts Show, 2002-2004, 2006
          Bracebridge, Ontario
  • Cobourg Waterfront Festival, 2004
          Cobourg, Ontario
  • Queen West Art Crawl, 2004
          Toronto, Ontario
  • Distillery Historic District:
    -- Outdoor Craft Showcase,2003
    -- Outdoor Art Exhibition, 2003
          Toronto, Ontario
  • Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Show 2001
         Toronto, Ontario
  • The Artisansí Market, 2000
         Timothy Eaton Memorial Church,Toronto, Ontario
  • Celtic Reflections, 1999 Benchmark 1998 Eclectic Creations 1998
           Varley Gallery, Unionville, Ontario



Retail Outlets  (current)

  • Our works are available directly from us at our studio or via the internet through this web site.
  • Our Etsy store, KathyandJimSawada.Etsy.com


Retail Outlets  (past)

  • WORKshop Inc. | Experimental Design Centre & Gallery
      Toronto, ON

Awards & Recognitions