Design and Craftsmanship
Atelier Nick Barna is a small workshop located in Chelsea, Quebec (15 minutes north of Ottawa) specializing in the design and craft of solid wood furniture and fine cabinetry. Nick’s work is characterized by thoughtful modern design, clean lines, and a rigorous attention to detail. Using only quality hardwoods and taking care to select each piece of lumber for its grain, strength, and stability, each furniture piece is meticulously crafted using time honoured joinery techniques. Drawing upon a wide range of influences – from the practical simplicity of Shaker furniture, to the carefully balanced minimalism of Japanese woodworking, to the spaciousness and sensuality of Scandinavian and Italian Modern design – he creates pieces of enduring beauty and utility.
Nick’s work carries a distinct impression of giving something back to people; an ease and a simple, unencumbered pleasure in everyday living. – Rafia Mahli
The son of an engineer and an elementary school teacher, I grew up around tools and construction sites and was always encouraged explore my creativity. In 2000, I received a degree in Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore. After college I worked in various museums, handling and installing artwork, and fabricating 'furniture' for exhibits. After making many pieces of furniture for myself, friends began to ask if I would build things for them. After seeing the reactions of my first clients, I bought a few pieces of machinery and founded my woodworking business in 2009. For a number of years I shared a workshop with other skilled craftsmen from whom I learned a great deal. I continued to try new things, I studied, practiced, and refined my craft.
In 2013 I married and moved to Ottawa. The next year my wife and I purchased a lot in Chelsea, Québec with a tiny old farm cottage on it. I promptly built a new workshop and in late 2014 I relocated my business from Baltimore. The following year we built a new home on our land to accommodate our growing family.
At present, I continue to challenge myself by designing exciting new pieces and expanding my skillset as a craftsman. I have also begun to utilize new production technologies – like laser cut steel, water jet cut brass, and CNC cut wood panels – that allow me to realize new design possibilities.