A! Magazine for the Arts

"First Light" (Cades Cove) by Jeffrey Stoner Photography

"First Light" (Cades Cove) by Jeffrey Stoner Photography

Once Upon a Tree

April 27, 2010

The Mountain Empire region has a history of high-quality woodworking. Most of it can be called good craftsmanship, and some is certainly art.

So who are the people who spend months, even years, sanding down every last nook and polishing every cranny? As we soon found out, there is an endless number and variety of stories.

We finally "whittled" them down to four examples:

Tom Ilowiecki in Mendota, Va., makes fine jewelry out of scrap wood.

Bill Tillson of Kingsport, Tenn., fashions vases and bowls from "precious" and exotic woods.

Robert Sprollin Bluff City, Tenn., designs sleek, contemporary furniture.

Joel Harte of Abingdon, Va., crafts high-end custom furniture as well as antique reproductions.


-- Turning Wood into Art: Tom Ilowiecki