Published on Oct 8, 2021

Philippe Foley is a carpenter who transforms tree trunks or their strange excrescences into furniture or accessories for the home. Innovative designs and hard work sums up the artisan’s approach to his trade. He’s also proud to revalorize the Mégantic region woodlands, where he has settled.

By Natalie Sicard

Furniture that will endure the test of time and styles

In his workshop, where he introduces us to his creations, each object, each tool is well stored in its place. Right away we feel the thoroughness that reigns here. Whether it concerns the meticulous selection of his raw materials, his cutting-edge carpentry tools—he’s even installed a wood dryer on his family owned land—The pieces that come out of his workshop meet very high standards. Indeed, this artisan is careful about creating furniture that will be handed down through the generations, therefore their brand name Collection Héritage.

In addition to this, there’s the ecological value of using raw material responsibly to reduce mass consumption and its many ecological impacts. Using a chainsaw with a cutting capacity of 60 inches, he salvages his wood from the surrounding forests. His approach honours the 4 Rs of the zero waste principle: Reduce, repair, recycle and reuse.

Custom-made Creations Crafted with Heart.

To take the concept of “heritage” a step further, he also occasionally offers a very special service: turning people’s trees into furniture or accessories for their home.

This creative made-to-measure task, of course, contributes to the preservation of these objects’ sentimental value. From time to time, he even invites his customers to participate or assist with certain steps of the transformation. “I enjoy creating and establishing relationships. Customer relations are important for me. I work side by side with them.”

Would it be surprising to learn that he trained and worked for 10 years as an occupational therapist before starting his company in 2009; A profession requiring a good ear and an excellent knowledge of the human body? All his creations have, in fact, a very ergonomic quality to them. As for his dexterity as a carpenter, he learned his trade at a very early age with his grandfather, and later with his father, who today works with him. He also trained at L’École du meuble de Victoriaville before starting his business.

While customized design contracts take up 90% of his time, his Philard Design Collection of accessories, launched in 2019, takes up the remaining 10%. The first product to be launched in this category is the Fusion Kitchen magnetic cutting board made from maple wood that has been torrefied for 50 hours (which closes 90% of the wood cells). It was an immediate success, and has been sold by the hundreds via his online shop. Other accessories and culinary items made of wood were then created, including his latte bowls. He’s just created about fifty of them for the café bistro La Brûlerie in Mégantic.

An Organic Sink

Another product he’s created, which stands out for its unique and exceptional design, is the sink he carves out of a spruce knob. Water resistant, thanks to the reservoir’s enamel finish offering a porcelain aspect, this work of art/sink, with its clean, organic lines, is absolutely stunning!

His artistic approach was influenced by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, who knew so well how to combine head, heart and hand, in other words, science and art. “Cabinetmaking is the combination of creativity, art and attention to detail dedicated to beauty,” reads his website.

We can find his pieces in Magog, at Les Trois Bouleaux gallery and at the Centrale Métiers d’Art in Sherbrooke.

You can visit his website and his online boutique by clicking here!

His Book of Special Addresses

The Café Bistro La Brûlerie. This breakfast restaurant and coffee roasting house is the perfect place to satisfy your appetite while you enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee.

Mount Gosford. With its 1193-metre altitude, Mount Gosford constitutes Québec’s 7th highest peak and offers a splendid summit view of Maine and New Hampshire’s mountain ranges, but also of the border mountains found in the Lac-Mégantic region. The mountain offers a network of 40 km of hiking trails.

The Parc de Vétérans, alongside Lake Mégantic. A restorative setting for a walk with an exceptional view of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

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