Mark Whitley Studio

Original design…One piece at a time.

Twist Coffee Table

 Welcome to Mark Whitley Studio.  I create handmade contemporary furniture and sculpture here on my little farm in Kentucky.  My work can be found from coast to coast, in homes, churches, museums, and public spaces.  I specialize in making one-of-a-kind pieces with sensitivity to the place they will live.  I enjoy the solitude of the studio, and have spent most of my life building things.  I’m an artist, a musician, a father, and a husband.  I like working with my hands.  I like adding objects of beauty to the world, and I love a good project.  Have a look around-

Turbulence 2017 Bent Lamination Sculpture 30x30x64

Commissioning furniture or sculpture for your space is easy.  It all starts with a need or a function, then, after visiting the space or working from photos, I design something just for you.  Generally, I will sketch a few ideas for consideration and approval, but the real magic happens at the workbench as the pieces come to life and the fine details come into focus.  For me, it is not about matching the existing furnishings, rather, creating pieces that enhance the space they occupy.  Contact me for more information, or to schedule a consultation.

Concept sketch- Uptown Manhattan Apartment Cabinet
Project complete and ready for delivery

Wood is inherently flexible.  Just go outside and watch how trees bend and sway and still remain strong.  Inspired by my time in the the woods, I began incorporating bent laminations into my work.  By selecting straight grained woods, then slicing and gluing it back together, I can achieve smooth bends that are far stronger than sawn curves.

The heart of Mark Whitley Studio is interesting wood.  I have great reverence for fine lumber and find most of the wood I need right here in Kentucky.  Sometimes I reclaim wood from ancient logs, sometimes I find great lumber stored away in barns, and sometimes the wood is found at my local sawmill.

Harvesting huge maple slabs from a downed yard tree
Harvesting huge maple slabs from a downed yard tree


“The corner cabinet is beautiful!!!  It is exactly what I wanted, only much more lovely than I could envision. The burl walnut is so striking, and I love the pattern of the divided glass.  The cabinet suits us so well and looks as though it belongs with us, right there in that spot”  Tracey C.


In our fast paced world, handmade furniture is a luxury.  Since 2000, Mark Whitley Studio has been creating pieces that enhance the spaces they live in.

Round breakfast table and Number 6 Chairs
Cherry Media Cabinet
The River Bench, Downing Museum, Bowling Green, KY


Liturgical Furniture, First Christian Church, Topeka, KS
Communion Table, First Christian Church, Bowling Green, KY
Pulpit, First Christian Church, Bowling Green, KY


I believe furniture should be simple.  I’ve always been drawn to Shaker designs and mid century Danish designers.  The Number 6 Chair is a nod to those who came before me, and my favorite chair to build.  It is available in a variety of woods, leathers, and finishes, and is oh so comfortable.

Number 6 Chair, maple and walnut with dyed leather

A few years ago, one of my best clients asked me to create a pair of cabinets that would flank an original work on paper by Theodore Geisel, aka, Dr. Seuss.  These cabinets almost appear to be in a conversation…I wonder what they talk about?

The Dr. Seuss Cabinets

Living in Kentucky, you’re never far from a distillery or a cooperage.  After visiting a cooperage, I began to work on coopered seats for chairs and benches.  The Thinking Bench is the latest barrel inspired design.

The Thinking Bench

I’ve always been interested in rocking chairs.  Every few years, I will launch into another design.  The Club Rocker is the latest example; with a low slung leather seat and solid sides, this chair continues to explore what a rocking chair can be.

The Club Rocker


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Mark Whitley Studio    Smiths Grove, KY   270.678.9745  or Email