When Mateo Bucher was five, he started helping his dad – a cabinet maker – in his workshop, and he’s been there almost every day since. In 2017, Mateo’s dad bought him a lathe. He watched YouTube videos to learn how to turn small items. A local woodturner taught him how to shape a bowl.
At only nine years old, Mateo launched his business, As It Turns Out. He started taking his bowls, spinning tops and rolling pins to artisan markets, selling out by the end of the day and going home with a list of orders. Now 13, Mateo spends about three hours a day turning wood. There is nowhere else he’d rather be.
“I love taking a raw material that nature gave us and giving it a second life. It is really fun when you have those shavings flying,” says the Nelson, B.C., teen, who is considering becoming a professional woodturner, woodworker or arborist when he grows up – as long as it involves wood.
Mateo recently set up a website, teowoodworks.ca, to sell his work and added new items, including honey dippers and pens, as well as custom work, such as knobs and door handles.
“There has been a lot of traffic,” he says. “It’s a great feeling to know that people are interested in what you make.”
And what has Mateo done with his earnings so far? He bought himself a professional lathe, of course. —Abigail Cukier