Support us with Kachingle!
June 7, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
If every tree tells a story, then Joe Marshall is a raconteur of a distinct kind. His company, Twinwood Carving, specializes in using local trees to make sleek, beautifully designed wooden home accents and has been telling Missouri’s story for the past three years.
Originally from Ireland, Marshall learned he had an eye for the potential in nature’s own work of art. So in high school in Ireland, Marshall took up woodcarving.
What began as a hobby for Marshall while he was a stay-at-home dad eventually turned into his and his wife’s at-home business. Twinwood Carving, inspired by his twin boys, transformed into a full-fledged profession. His bowls are available at Bluestem Missouri Crafts and online at etsy.com/shop/Twinwoodcarving.
He searches around Columbia and mid-Missouri for a piece of wood with a story. Earlier this year, he met a 70-year-old man who had milled a piece of wood with his father when he was 14, shortly before his father died. The man kept the wood for nearly 60 years. Marshall was able to cut that slab into boards, stick them in a kiln to dry and carve the man a piece of his own history.
Marshall finds his wood everywhere, including Craigslist. One of his most recent projects included wood from a barn built in 1903 on Scott Boulevard. There’s a perk to staying local, Marshall says. “When you buy one of my bowls, you can meet me; I can introduce you to the guy who cut the tree.”
Aside from being local, the wood also has to be from a tree that is at least six years old. Older wood, according to Marshall, maintains almost 25 percent of its moisture in the milling process, which makes it easier to process and carve, highlighting the natural graining.
For Marshall, carving is simple. He finds the tree, cuts it down, mills the wood and creates a beautiful story.