It’s not unusual to catch award-winning artist and musician Mark Whitley strumming out a few Americana, folksy tunes under the corrugated arches of his steel awning.
Every day he performs an amazing balancing act. He has to split time between being a dedicated father to his 8-year-old son, a husband, talented musician, and spending hours in his shop creating some of the most spectacular wooden masterpieces.
His futuristic wooden furniture has earned him several awards, national recognition, and his work is also featured in the Joe Downing Museum in Kentucky.
Mark creates what he calls “functional art” for people who are looking for woodwork with that whimsical touch. He handcrafts beautiful tables, cabinets, chairs, and beautiful wooden works of art.
Mark has been in the woodworking industry most of his life. He grew up on a tobacco and cow farm in Kentucky and started working with wood when he was just five years old. His father made cabinets, so Mark had the materials and tools he needed at his disposal.
He says his father allowed him to create projects freely. He made plenty of mistakes, but he learned the craft and became better and better every day with every project. Over the years, he became a master in the art. He learned how to bend and curve the wood in unusual ways and it has helped him to create his original designs.
Mark actually did not plan to go into the woodworking business initially. He went off to college in California and earned a degree in Peace Studies. He was about to get himself geared up for graduate school when he made a major decision that would change the course of his entire life. He returned to what he loved the most—woodworking.