Ken Guenter: Fine Furniture maker, designer and educator

Ken Guenter first worked for Camosun College in 1983 when he agreed to teach a Community Education course for a woodworking colleague. The course focused on basic cabinet making, something that Ken knew well, but had never taught before.

He recalls heading to the first all-day workshop. En route, he thought several times about turning around and going home. Despite his nervousness, Ken made it through the day and, for many years after, he taught four to five woodworking classes a year through Community Education.

The opportunity to join Cam Russell in the Fine Furniture Program came in 2000. Ken and his wife, Patty, were living in the Comox Valley when the teaching opportunity arose. They both were keen to return to Victoria and thus began Ken’s 17 years in Camosun College’s Fine Furniture Program. For Ken, it was a dream job.

Fine Furniture instructor and craftsman, Ken Guenter

Ken and Cam developed a process of team teaching which drew upon their individual strengths. Because of the quantity and nature of the material, they were always in one another’s realm of expertise. It was a very effective teaching and learning scenario. There was always lots for Cam and Ken to talk about at the end of each teaching session.

One of the great joys of the Fine Furniture Program was the year-end exhibition which was held in many local galleries over the years. Students and their families loved the event and it always served to raise the profile of the program.

In 2018, as a retirement project, Cam and Ken organized Making It: a Celebration of 30 years of the Camosun College Fine Furniture Program. The exhibition of fine furniture pieces produced by program graduates took place at the Legacy Gallery. It was dedicated to the many graduates who were still “making it.”

See the exhibition catalogue at: https://legacy.uvic.ca/gallery/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/catalogue.pdf

Fortunately, although now retired, Ken is still “making it” as well: http://www.kenguenter.ca/

Submitted by Faye Ferguson, CCARE Retiree

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