My wife Patty and I live in Duluth, Minnesota, about 2 miles from Lake Superior.  I came to Duluth in 1970.  I quickly came to love the lakes and woods of our area and even took up ice fishing.  I got into my chosen profession of Forestry, working for St. Louis County, MN, where I spent my career.

I gravitated to woodworking in 7th grade shop class, and long before retirement I spent my free time in the shop.  We also love to travel and we spend a lot of our summers at our lake property in Iron River, Wisconsin.  Much of the wood used here comes from our own trees.

About the trees:  Having spent my life growing trees, harvesting and regenerating this most environmentally friendly resource- if there is a single thing I know, it is the shape of a tree, so making trees to show the beauty of the wood seemed like a natural fit.

It really is all about the wood, and the beauty that is hidden until we find it inside there.  The tree shapes are a comforting and familiar form to display that beauty.

I use a band saw to shape them, then sand (way too much) and finally give them 4-6 coats of clear matte varnish.  Nothing is stained or colored.  I use superglue to stabilize areas of soft wood, which is often the most interesting. ( Don't make my mistake and superglue your mustache down, as I did a few weeks ago.)

The unseen part of making my trees is in finding the woods.  I use about 42 different woods and I am constantly looking for interesting woods.  The best pieces are often pretty shaggy looking. 

I hope you enjoy my trees as much as I enjoyed making them.

John Thompson