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-

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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

 

2 weeks ago

Mark Whitley Studio

Working on the latest Twist Table. It's being created for a lovely home in Lexington, KY. Walnut base with a maple top harvested right here in Smiths Grove. Cut, twist, glue, sand, repeat. ... See MoreSee Less

Working on the latest Twist Table. Its being created for a lovely home in Lexington, KY.  Walnut base with a maple top harvested right here in Smiths Grove. Cut, twist, glue, sand, repeat.

3 weeks ago

Mark Whitley Studio

Just delivered a new piece. This is the second Mushroom Bench and i think it's happy in its new home. ... See MoreSee Less

Just delivered a new piece. This is the second Mushroom Bench and i think its happy in its new home.

 

Comment on Facebook

God knew what he was doing when he created you Mark this is beautiful your talent comes from the heart .

You are quite remarkable Mark !

Nice !

i have a nice piece of wood for you

Love that!

Wow!!!

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3 weeks ago

Mark Whitley Studio

My episode of a A Craftsman's Legacy has started airing around the country. Pretty amazing amount of interest in what I do. Truly a humbling experience. #tablemakerlegacy Thanks to everyone for watching. ... See MoreSee Less

My episode of a A Craftsmans Legacy  has started airing around the country. Pretty amazing amount of interest in what I do. Truly a humbling experience. #tablemakerlegacy  Thanks to everyone for watching.

 

Comment on Facebook

Thanks for watching. Everyone has been so kind. Thank you.

Such kind words. Thank you.

I just finished watching you on television, "Craftsman Legacy", you both refer to a book author... I am curious to his name. Would you by chance be willing to tell me again? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR WORK, YOUR FURNITURE IS LIKE COMING HOME FOR ME. ♡♡♡ My family is Scandinavian, so your furniture warms my heart!

Is your episode available online or anywhere else? I did a search and they don't air this show on PBS Chicago.

Really enjoyed your episode, and wish it had been much longer. Listening to you talk about what you love to do was an absolute treat. Your attention to detail and craftsmanship had me hooked from the moment it began. Your work is simply beautiful. My wife is from Bowling Green KY, and enjoyed watching too. All the best.

Great segment on Craftsman's Legacy. Your furniture is truley art. There are many of us that can "build" furniture but there are very few like you that have the talent to envision and create such beautiful pieces.

I caught this episode of A Craftsman Legacy today. I enjoyed watching your bending technique. Also, if you have time what is the iron solution finish method you used called? Thanks!

I am a fan of Craftsman Legacy and really enjoyed watching you make these table legs-I love the sculptural aspect of your work and the originality of your designs

I just watched your episode on A Craftsman's Legacy and am so impressed and inspired by your art and your journey to get where you are. Thank you for sharing!!

I am watching the episode 'A Craftsman's Legacy on UNC-TV right now. Your passion, attention, time and kindness are palpable.

Mark, Just watched Craftman's Legacy. Would like to say, your furniture is so unique. You're very talented !

Mark Whitley saw you on Craftsman's Legacy tonight... Awesome .... You're work is Absolutely Beautiful... Thank You for you're work. Carry on..

Just watched ‘A Craftsman’s Legacy’ & thoroughly enjoyed seeing your exquisite work & hearing your story!

Amazingly beautiful. I just watched Craftsman's Legacy and you building this. Just beautiful!!

Beautiful, strong and functional. A lovely piece for any home.

Just watched your Craftsman’s Legacy episode. I just love your work! You create beautiful pieces.

So proud of you Cuz!! Glad the nation is seeing your GOD given Amazing talent and passion!!!

Watched this today and I love this table you made on the show❤️. How much is this coffee table, shipping etc.

I watched your episode! Amazing!!!!

Just saw the episode. Live your work

You are amazing

Love this!❤️

I love your work!!

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Mark Whitley Studio    Smiths Grove, KY   270.678.9745  or Email