Carpenter Mary Ratcliffe’s trade secrets

Mary Ratcliffe’s Trade Secrets

The ingenious carpenter makes bespoke pieces for unusual spaces

By Caroline Aksich| Portrait by Erin Leydon
| April 11, 2018

When Mary Ratcliffe was seven, her dad showed her how to weld. As a teen, she would lock herself in his workshop, where she taught herself woodworking. And in 2013, she started her own bespoke furniture company. Ratcliffe blends rustic materials with whimsical flourishes. She used shou sugi ban, a Japanese wood-torching technique, to turn a white ash table matte black, burning the surface to raise the texture of the wood grain and creating a sleek, silky finish. Her current projects include a 1971 Airstream trailer, which she’s retrofitting with a cozy reading room and dining area, and a bedroom for an 11-year-old girl built in a walk-in closet, with a wall-to-wall bed, hidden storage and an overhead loft.


Her Current Obsessions

Carpenter Mary Ratcliffe’s trade secrets
She uses Molo’s foldable, LED-lit paper softwall to separate her bedroom and living room

Carpenter Mary Ratcliffe’s trade secrets
Castor Design’s Deadstock Catherine Lamp is made from salvaged material, like marble from First Canadian Place

Carpenter Mary Ratcliffe’s trade secrets
Therma Kota’s Silja jacket is made to order from sustainably sourced Spanish shearling

Carpenter Mary Ratcliffe’s trade secrets
She fell in love with Mathieu Lehanneur’s marble Ocean Memories table at Design Miami

Carpenter Mary Ratcliffe’s trade secrets
Brooklyn photographer Dean West stitches together dozens of images to create surreal landscapes

 

More Design Pros

Landscape architect Adele Pierre’s trade secrets
Style

Landscape architect Adele Pierre’s trade secrets

A series featuring Toronto’s top decor pros

NEVER MISS A TORONTO LIFE STORY

Sign up for The Vault, our free newsletter with unforgettable long reads from our archives.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Latest