Mentor Highlight of the Month: Merv Bontrager!

Say hello to our mentor of the month, Merv Bontrager!

His role here at GoCreate: A mentor in the woodworking department at GoCreate.

How long have you been a mentor at GoCreate? Since 2018.

His background: With a degree in clinical social work, he used to be a spychotherapist. “When I retired, part of what I learned about being a human being is one needs to be creative- whatever their creativity is,” said Merv.

In the early stages of his hobby, Merv went into a woodworking store and saw a magazine with a piece on ‘the 3 P’s of woodworking.’ “It was perfectionism, procrastination, paralysis,” Merv said. “So I learned my problem was that I wasn’t perfect and I was obsessed with it. Consequently I became paralyzed. Once I realized it was okay to make mistakes, then I got it done.” Merv said that phrase from the woodworking magazine stuck with him as a lesson for life as well. “If I get obsessed with being perfect in life, I’m going to be paralyzed. So I’m constantly reminded that I don’t have to be perfect, because I can’t be.”

Merv has been doing woodworking now for 20 years, and everything Merv knows has been self taught.

What are you working on now? His current project is a custom wood chest for his granddaughter. He said she is a dancer, so he felt like the lines in the wood pieces align well since they both have fluid movements.

What would you say to someone interested in GoCreate? “Come and discover yourself. Discover what’s possible for yourself and your creativity. There are a lot of people that are very creative in different areas and its learning how to discover your creativity within yourself.” — Merv

In order to let our members get to know Merv a little better, we will be holding our first “Coffee and Creators” get together this month on February 20th from noon to 1 pm. We invite you to come meet Merv, bring your projects and enjoy some coffee! Let us know if you can attend by responding to our Facebook event here!

Some additional woodworking projects he has made in the past include the items below


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