You could say I am simply carrying on a family tradition. I was born and raised in Grey County, Ontario, where the name Miller has been synonymous with fine craftsmanship for generations.
Both of my grandfathers worked with wood their entire lives; James Miller was a respected lumberman and lathe turner, while Frederick Wilder - my namesake - was a skilled finisher. Together, they represent the kind of people responsible for the historic reputation of this region as a centre for Canadian furniture-making.
The tradition of excellence that began with my grandfathers continued in the next generation. My father was a precision small motor mechanic and very much a craftsman in his own right. As a small boy, playing in his shop, I learned not only the importance of taking pride in your workmanship, but also how to stand behind everything you make.
This legacy influences my approach to fine woodworking. Meticulous workmanship comes from respecting yourself and honouring the values of those who nourished the trade before you, as well as the forests that make it possible.
1971 - At 13, my growing passion got a humble start with a shop in the back of an old delivery truck body.
1981 - I graduated from Humber College Cabinet Makers Program and established my current shop.
1986 - I played in key role in bringing back the Great Victorian Designs, such as those in my Wooden Screen Doors & Gingerbread.
1992 - My partner Donna and I created the Craftsman's Gallery. The Gallery display's Custom Kitchen Cabinets as well as custom entrance doors, wood screen doors, Heirloom Furniture and Live Edge Furniture. 34 years later, I am working out of that same well-equipped 2500 square foot shop that sits exactly where the old truck body sat in 1971.
2010 - After many years of productive & enjoyable work, I am joined by my 32-year-old daughter and apprentice, Chelsea Sterling Miller.
My work reflects many of the Early Canadian Styles from the late 1800's. I employ many time-honored construction methods in my pieces. Mortise and tenons, frame and panel construction and dovetailing all ensure that the solid wood creations I make today will become the heirlooms of tomorrow.