My name is Sean Syman, and I grew up in Wellington, New Zealand helping my Dad in our basement workshop, fixing boats and making small things - when I was 18 we made a guitar together in the most hacked together way possible and it still plays great to this day. I started woodcarving five years ago as it presented me with an opportunity to be more flexible with my workshop space and take a more creative path, and started taking my carving more seriously when I moved to Toronto for work in 2018.
I find the process of bringing a shape and form out from wood hugely meditative, and try and let the natural appearance of wood grain and colour tones be the core of my pieces. Woodcarving for me has been a chance to express myself in an artform that feels true to myself.
I use mostly hand tools for my work - knives, chisels and gouges, with the occasional use of a rotary tool. I use a variety of hardwoods for my carvings including basswood, walnut, cherry, butternut and maple. Since being back in New Zealand, I have been making use of a lot of native timbers, including tōtara, rewarewa, kauri and black maire.
I'm currently back living in New Zealand after a few years in Canada. Outside of woodcarving I work as an acoustic engineer, and in my spare time get energy from playing music, tramping and ice hockey.