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Mike Bonin

Wood / New Iberia, LA

Artist Statement

I’ve been an educator for over 30 years. Working as a coach and principal has been rewarding. I recently retired from the Iberia Parish School Board in June of 2013. Prior to retiring I was in my shop every chance I could get. Now I am in my woodworking shop full time and I am enjoying every minute. Being retired allows me to spend as much time as I want to in the shop, but also plenty time to play with my grandkids. As a child I was always cutting wood and working on little projects. I bought my first woodworking tool when I was 24, and have been in the shop creating ever since. I spend most of time in the shop making things for my family and friends and also making items to sell at craft shows. I have acquired many tools over the years, and I am experimenting with different ideas in the shop. I have built cabinets, furniture, toys and small functional items for others to enjoy. My favorite things to make are wooden spoons. I presently have over 15 different style spoons that I make and I am always looking for new styles or ways to alter the existing styles. When I was younger I enjoyed working with cypress however, in the last several years I have to come to enjoy working with many hardwoods. I typically use these different hardwoods to create cutting boards, rolling pins and spoons and other functional items. Often, when driving in my truck, I spot wood on the side of the road and I will stop to see if the wood can be turned into something useful. I’ve also started turning wood, and I am amazed to see a block of wood turned into some type of functional item that can be used by others. I get the most enjoyment when I see my pieces being used or displayed in someones home.

Biography

I have been married to Joy Freyou for 32 years and we have 3 children together, Breigh, Alex, and Ian. Breigh and her husband Brian Casanova have two children, Daniel and Katherine Casanova. Working with kids has been a rewarding part of my life, however I find that working with wood, and turning it into something of beauty and function offers me a different type of rewarding experience.