Colour concept by: Sandie Mac

Wood Selection: Curly Maple, Wenge, Walnut, Bloodwood, Indian Rosewood

Butterfly Bio:

Little Oolong was created in memory of my dad.  The smell of Oolong Tea reminds me of him.  Whenever we had time to sit and chat my dad would take out his favourite clay teapot set, with the dragon engraving, and make tea for us.  Everything was a special occasion for my dad and of course everything was a big deal!  Sipping tea out of the tiny one-sip teacups, he would show me all the details of his fancy teapot like it was the first time I’ve ever seen it.  Then of course the tea leaves came with a big story about where and who they were from… I of course would respond with awe in my face like it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard.


Colour concept by: Michael Luong

Wood Selection: Pine, Bloodwood, African Ebony, Macassar Ebony, Padauk, Curly Maple

Butterfly Bio:

Our nephew, Michael, came to help us dress the wood for the butterflies at the beginning of the project. We asked if he would like to design his own butterfly and were really impressed with his creation.  Maul is stunning and strikingly different from our designs.  

The Star Wars fans out there might have probably guessed which character inspired this creation. To our surprise, we learned that Darth Maul was Michael’s favorite character because he found Darth Maul relatable and most captivating with respect to character development. Michael told us that Darth Maul was “very human in the sense that he succumbed to his emotions and was fallible unlike the other characters in Star Wars.” What do you think? Would you consider that to be the path to the dark side?

Kaleidoscope Kimmie

Over the next few days during the DesignTO festival, we will feature some of our favorite butterflies and tell you more about what inspired the design. Allow me to first start with one that made this project so much more meaningful.

Colour concept by: Sandie Mac

Wood Selection: Poplar, Wenge, Bloodwood, Pink Ivory, Purple Heart, Walnut sapwood

Butterfly Bio:

We named this butterfly Kaleidoscope Kimmie after my sister. If you ever met her, you would have agreed that the best word to describe her was “jubilant”. Her wonderful laugh would have warmed your heart and welcomed you into her world.  At work, her colleagues adoringly called her Kimmie.

For Kim’s butterfly, I selected her favourite colours to accent the kaleidoscopic pattern resembling her personality. When I think of her, I picture her wearing khaki green, shimmery pinks, and purple. Her butterfly also had to have black in it because she was cool like that. 

In the fall of 2021, during the planning phase for the butterflies, I lost my sister unexpectedly to cancer. Having to cope with the emotions and disbelief of her sudden passing, I found comfort in dedicating time to creating a butterfly that reminded me of her beauty.

Of all the butterflies we made, Kimmie was definitely one of the fussy ones. I was really picky with the wood shades from the raw planks themselves to the finishing. For the Pink Ivory, Walnut sapwood, and Poplar layers, Ivan painstakingly milled three times the number of pieces required for each layer because the width of each selected section was so much smaller. I was very thankful for that. While we fussed over her butterfly, I thought of all the precious time we spent together. How tentative Kim was when we asked her for help, the way she furrowed her eyebrows when she spoke about things that bothered her, but mostly the way she shaded her lips with her hand and rocked backwards when she chuckled. That reminder of her unmistakable laughter made Kimmie pretty special.