I was a high school teacher and coach for over thirty years, but my real love is wood turning, specifically, making custom wood turnings for clients. When I discovered the Florida Keys and saw the almost endless variety of tropical woods, I knew this was the place for me. After using some hardwoods from the Midwest, wood burls, and exotic woods from Africa, I decided to work with the unique tropical wood from the Keys. Each piece is an original, one-of-a-kind, unique creation, made by hand, with recycled urban forest tropical wood from the AMERICAN Florida Keys.
Recycling the Wood of Kings
Cuban Mahogany (swietenia mahagoni), also called West Indies Mahogany and Spanish Mahogany, is the primary wood used for most of the bowls for sale on this site. Its origin is the Florida Keys where it is referred to as permitted wood. This means, with due diligence to federal and state requirements, a permit is issued by Monroe country for it to be cut down. Were it not for a few licensed arborists who recycle wood cut down in urban areas, this wood would be dumped into landfills in South Florida.
This legendary lumber was used by the classic furniture makers of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, such as Thomas Chippendale, Duncan Phyfe, Goddard and Townsend and others. Unmatched for its combination of beauty, strength and stability, this wood was in high demand throughout the world.
The wood was cut at every opportunity until it was considered rare in the 1800's. At this time the EPA has placed Cuban Mahogany on the endangered list along with most of the tropical wood displayed on this site. All this wood is a national treasure and I am proud that every piece can be used and not wasted.
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