Kathy & Jim Sawada

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Kathy and Jim Sawada

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Kathy and Jim Sawada


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars

About KathyandJimSawada

Sales 274
On Etsy since 2011

It all began in the tool aisle....

We are a husband/wife team who ventured into the fine crafts field in 1997. It became a full-time occupation for both of us in 2002. It’s a great head-space! Before entering the fine craft field, Jim held various management and technical positions in the computer technology field. Kathy was an accredited teacher and stay-at-home mother. She also conceived, planned, organized and conducted programs for groups of preschoolers.

We are both self-taught. Research, experimentation and imagination keep us moving along on the road of discovery. Our work has evolved and continues to do so.

I had never used, or even considered, wood as my medium for artistic expression. I got involved in woodworking when I discovered the scroll saw (while killing time in yet another tool store waiting for Jim to poke through all the available gizmos). Jim has been a hobby woodworker and cabinetmaker for years and had made beautiful boxes.

I moved up to the band saw when I started to design free-form, sculptured boxes. Those creations got me involved in an exhibition at the Varley Gallery in Unionville. The Varley Gallery subsequently invited me to participate in a couple of fundraisers, Benchmark and Reflections, neither of which had any relationship to my band saw boxes, but both of which sent me off into completely new directions. Benchmark required artists to convert a provided rough-hewn milking stool into a work of art.Reflections posed a similar challenge using a provided framed mirror.

My works were a hit. But, I couldn’t build the underlying benches and frames. Enter Jim’s cabinet making (and rising to the challenge). The rest, as they say, is history.

One of the things that is the most fun in this work is that I never know what will be created next! Having had no formal training, I can do whatever amuses me…and sometimes the finished product is a complete surprise!!

As a newly married young man with little money but a lot of curiosity it was essential that I embrace new skills of many kinds. Plastering and painting came first. Close on their heels were changing diapers and learning to sleep and think at the same time.

My formal education and my initial career were computer related.....but we all know the importance of a meaningful hobby. It was Kathy's father, Fred, who introduced me to the joys of woodworking: first enticing me with a small table saw, then with some of his chisels, then some techniques and encouragement and some very good advice (as well as some very bad advice). It was a learning curve that I embraced with enthusiasm.

As my family grew, my skills were challenged and expanded with practice...practice ...practice: building book shelves, beds, desks, cabinets, a dollhouse, a go-cart. I discovered and learned to love all of the grains, colours, strengths and weaknesses of various woods.

Then the day came that the family was grown and there were no more beds or desks or shelves to be made.......but.... Kathy has always loved boxes......so I started to make boxes. And I continue to make boxes.

Each box is a personal journey for me as I choose the colours and size and conceive the design. It is important to me that each box is unique in some way. Each is handmade with patience and attention to every detail. It's the pride of the artisan in me perhaps...I like to think so.

Shop members

  • Kathy


  • Jim


Shop policies

Last updated on 09 May, 2022
Welcome to the works of Kathy & Jim Sawada, Canadian artisans.
All works are our own designs, completely constructed, finished and decorated by us.
We pride ourselves in making art that is as functional as it is eye-catching.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Visa Mastercard Apple Pay Klarna Gift card
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits

Returns & exchanges

See item details for return and exchange eligibility.


Cancellations: not accepted

Please contact the seller if you have any problems with your order.


We accept ETSY Direct Checkout for payments.
Order cancellations will not be accepted after shipment.


For on-hand items, shipments will usually be made within 2 business days after receipt of payment.

Items are available for pickup at our studio. Contact us prior to purchase to make arrangements and to avoid shipping costs.

The cost for standard shipping is included in item prices.
Items are shipped from Toronto, Canada via -
-- standard: Canada Post Expedited Parcel within Canada
-- standard: Canada Post Expedited Parcel to USA
-- optional upgrade : Canada Post Xpresspost

Delivery times shown in listings are what Canada Post cites as standard or expected delivery times. We cannot guarantee those times.

Shipment is tracked and insured, has delivery confirmation. Signature required upon delivery in Canada for items over $200, and for all Xpresspost items to USA.

Stationery items are shipped through regular postal service without insurance coverage, delivery confirmation or signature.

Buyer is responsible for any international customs/duty/tax fees.

Additional policies and FAQs


Custom orders are welcomed. Please bear in mind that the price of your custom item will be around the price of similar items that we make. We only work in small volumes, e.g. maximum of ten items in an order. Do not expect volume discounts ..... we have no automated equipment.

A minimum $90 design and setup charge will apply to custom "one-off" orders. For example, a custom jewelry box that is pretty much the same as one of our existing ones (size, complexity) that sells for $400 could cost $490. That charge may not apply to simple customizing of the interior of a work in progress, e.g., your choice of lining, minor re-configuration of dividers and trays.

A 15% non-refundable down payment will be required to proceed with the final design and making of your custom piece.

Not all woods are always available; but, we shall do our best to accommodate your request. Please allow 8-10 weeks for your unique item to be designed and built.


We do not do engraving. We recommend that you arrange with a local engraver for such work. That puts you in complete control of design and time-frame.

You could have a custom plaque made by a local trophy shop. Such plaques, in brass or coloured brass, can be quite ornate and cut to any size. We have used, and directed people to, Hoult-Hellewell Trophies & Awards in Toronto.

Another option is CNC laser or router engraving. A client used Hot Pop Factory in Toronto with excellent results on their keepsake box.