Mark is the talented face behind Nature's Wooden Treasures, making wood and laser engraved and cut items with a focus on Michigan-shaped or laser-etched items that showcase our beautiful state. He lives in a suburb of Detroit with his wife, Donna. After spending his entire career working in the quality control area of the automotive industry, he retired in 2018.
Mark's love of woodworking began in Jr. High School woodshop class back in the 1970s. Since that time, he's dabbled in various wood projects, crafting items for his family. These items include a grandfather clock, an old-fashioned wagon, a tackle box, and end tables...all from a black walnut tree that was on his grandmother's property in Northern Michigan. Part of his love for woodworking stems from his love for the wood's natural beauty, and he finds the grain, texture, and color to be so magnificent. He finds great joy when he "unlocks the beauty" of each rough log and turns it into something beautiful and functional.
Before retiring, he took his woodworking hobby to the next stop and formed Nature's Wooden Treasures. He continues to make the wooden pens that he started with, but has greatly expanded the product scope with a CNC laser cutter/engraver and CNC router cutter. He does local craft shows as well, and has his products in a variety of artisan stores.
Why did you choose to partner with Yellow Door to sell your creations?
Yellow Door is well-established in the Berkley area and the go-to
store for gifts from local artisans.
What do you like most about the creative process?
I like the designing phase of new items the most.
What do you like least about the business side of creating and your work?
The "office" stuff that goes on behind the scenes to keep track of inventory and sales.
Do you have any notable awards or accomplishments?
I have been featured on television 3 times in recent years.
What is your favorite piece you've created and why?
I created a 3D chess board made of solid black walnut and maple...it weighed 35 pounds.
What are your goals for the future?
I retired a few years ago from the day job, and now have the opportunity to have this artisan business. I will always perform woodworking, but within the next 10 years
will likely reduce to a smaller footprint of products.
Do you have any fun stories about an experience involving your work?
Over the years, I have found the customer will always desire something slightly different than what I currently have. If you have 10 options, the customer will ask for something more.
If you have 100 options, the customer will again ask for something more.
It is fun to offer the customer the option of a custom order.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Back in Jr. High School, I played basketball and ran cross country track.
Do you have any inspiring words for others?
Study hard in school and work hard on the job.
What's one thing you can't live without?