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Native Woods

Hundreds of trees are indigenous to Texas, and almost all are resilient enough to go under the chisel or lathe. Carvers and wood turners create heirloom-worthy pieces out of pale-red pecan, dark-veined hackberry, and golden-yellow bois d’arc. But mesquite, rich in hue and warp-resistant, may be the most beloved. Here’s a selection of sturdy and collectible pieces, all crafted by Texas designers working with the state’s beautiful native woods. 

By January 2013Comments

Photograph by Chris Plavidal

1 and 2: For his vases and bowls, Frisco wood turner Chas Thornhill gathers the found timber of Bradford pear, elm, and red cedar from razed plots and the expansive grounds of his hunting and fishing club. From $55; chasthornhill.com

3: Influenced by Danish modernism, Rhode Island School of Design grad Patrick Keesey uses his leftovers from furniture projects to make these mesquite candlesticks in his Marfa wood shop. From $50; patrickkeesey​.com   

4: Maribeth and James Ahrens use mesquite found around their Kingsville neighborhood for these cutting boards, some of which are inlaid with turquoise. From $50; etsy.com/shop/AhrensStudioNaturals 

5: Marfa artist Camp Bosworth carves these serving spoons and ladles from mesquite, then hand-rubs them with mineral oil to enhance their depth and color. From $40; campbosworth​.com

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