Maarten Meerman (or Max) has been designing high-tech satellites, space missions, and rocket trajectories around the world for almost three decades. At the same time, he enjoys working with wood and refining his woodturning skills. By combining design precision with a love of wood, he creates custom solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had. Often using one of his lathes, but equally at ease carving, he creates exact micro-miniature copies of real-life satellite designs, furniture and complete rooms, as well as larger-scale items for practical use. Much of his work can best be viewed with a magnifying glass, as his specialities include 1/144 scale and smaller scale reproductions. His hand-nanoturned items are almost invisible to the naked eye – since they are down to only a few tens of microns in diameter.
Maarten is a member of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW). In 2017 he swapped his local chapter from Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild, where he was originally inspired to rise minutely to the challenge, to the Santa Cruz Woodturners, which in 2019 saw him in the role of President.
He has published several articles about innovative woodworking and nanoturning, and his work has been covered on CBC radio, CTV’s The Last Word, and in the Ottawa Citizen and Surrey Now newspapers. Here’s a preview of the 4-minute OhMore documentary shown above. Maarten is in regular demand to demonstrate his microminiature skills on the nanolathe.
The original of this finger-top silk-upholstered historic Canadian chair can be found in Rideau Hall’s Pauline Vanier Room in Ottawa. Here’s a link to Maarten’s version of the entire room.
If you’re curious about what I do, just ask!
So as a rocket scientist you design spacecraft?
My day job includes designing space vehicles and figuring out orbital dynamics so in my spare time I build models of the spacecraft that have gone into orbit or that live in my imagination.
What’s your connection to the ballet world?
My daughter introduced me to the world of bun heads and barres and the rest is history!
Here’s a selection of free-standing wooden ballet barres which combine function with form.
Your miniature woodturnings come in all sizes, ranging from dollhouse to invisible?
Who do you create your miniatures for?
Some of my work is on display, some of it is commissioned and there’s always someone in the family who has a birthday coming up!
Can we see you in action?
How can I contact you?
All images and text on this site are (c) 2010-2021 maarten meerman