Darrell Pydde wasn’t always planning to make a career in woodworking. He started Prairie Cedar Creations as a passion project back in 2014, making cedar planters in his free time.
“My day job was sitting in front of a computer eight hours a day. And you get tired — your eyes get tired sitting all day,” he says. “I’ve always had an interest in woodworking, so I decided, hey, I’ve built projects for people, and everybody appreciated it. Let’s give it a try.”
Since then, Prairie Cedar Creations has become much more than cedar planters. Pydde frequently works with hardwoods like maple, walnut and cherry wood to make furniture, home objects and structures. He sometimes uses live-edge wood and resin to create one-of-a-kind pieces. And most of the work he does – about 80 per cent – is custom.
“A lot of times, people just have been looking for somebody to build something they just didn’t know who to reach out to. They come across me and ask if I can, and definitely — I love the challenge of new stuff,” he says.
Pydde’s projects aren’t all large pieces, either. He also makes charcuterie and cutting boards, and even boards for games like chess and cribbage. At first, he only made oversized crib boards with larger pegs — a more forgiving design than the smaller, standard version. But after getting a new computer-controlled router last year, he was able to whittle down his expertise to a very precise degree.
“That was a game changer because it lines up the holes perfectly for me. I can get a lot fancier and do a lot more with it,” he says.