Mark spent his early childhood in Baton Rouge, living just down the road from his grandfather, a highly skilled craftsman. He attributes much of his talent and interest in woodworking to this. Later he moved with his family to west Houston where he spent his teenage years. The suburbs were never a good fit for Mark, and he always dreamed of a time when he might have more space and freedom to work with his hands.
As often happens, however, Mark initially took a different vocational direction before finding his way back to his first love. In 1994, after completing two degrees in theology, he quickly became disenchanted with the life of ministry and decided to pursue woodworking full time. He landed an apprenticeship in Wimberley with a highly skilled craftsman, Michael Colca, who taught him about precision machinery, structural integrity, old world joinery, wood properties and behaviors, and the principles of good design. By the end of his time with Michael in 2001, Mark was producing museum quality pieces from drawing board to delivery.
Now Mark works full time in his Wimberley, Texas studio, which he built, along with the home that he shares with his family. He now happily pursues his mission to make simply designed furniture of unsurpassed quality.
Earlier this year Mark was invited to participate in a collaborative art project at Fe29. He commented “I’m collaborating with a metal artist on a piece right now, and later I will with a poet Chris (Cander). This makes me very excited, but also nervous because I fear doing art this way. I fear leading with my heart, and I fear what I will find when I stand back and look at it”.
For more on Mark’s interest in art