Local artist relearns woodworking after epilepsy brain surgery

Craig Dahlin carves out a pattern on wood with a scroll saw at the Downtown Street Fair on June 15, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

A Prince Albert man had to retrain himself to pursue his passion of woodworking following brain surgery to escape epileptic seizures.

Craig Dahlin was struggling with seizures from epilepsy for over three decades, from the time he was only six years old to the age of 37—that’s when he made the decision to have surgery.

“It’s called Knot All There Woodworking because I had brain surgery in 2013 and they removed part of my brain, so I’m not all there,” he said.

Dahlin said he had a small stroke—the swift death of brain cells from a lack of oxygen—after doctors removed the part of his brain that causes seizures.

“I had to retrain, relearn how to do things,” he said. “I made a recovery and here I am.”

“This is what I do to keep my sanity. It just relieves stress for me and (I) get some recognition for my work.” – Craig Dahlin

Dahlin was creating a piece at the Knot All There Woodworking booth at the Downtown Street Fair on Saturday.

He said detailed pieces can take between 40 and 50 hours to complete.

He starts with gluing a pattern on to the wood. Then, for every section of the pattern, he drills a hole and cuts the piece out with a scroll saw, repeating the process until the project is complete. The scroll saw allows him to carve out intricate details.

Dahlin’s wood art includes portraits, animals and nature.

He runs Knot All There Woodworking out of his home in Prince Albert, but it used to be based in Birch Hills.

“This is what I do to keep my sanity. It just relieves stress for me and (I) get some recognition for my work,” he said.

In addition to scroll saw art, Dahlin also creates custom furniture.

Craig Dahlin’s work is displayed in the Rawhides restaurant art gallery in Stenen, Saskatchewan. (Rawhides/Facebook)