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About Tom Thornton

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I was raised in a house built by my father, so it was only natural that I became interested in woodworking as a very young boy. I remember watching my father work on his projects, amazed as he created custom furniture and household items. He even built racing sailboats!

Soon I was busy working on my own projects, not realizing I was getting a hands-on education that would evolve into an award-winning career in woodworking. I just thought it was fun to make toys, and then make boxes to put them in!

Later on, I started branching out into different types of woodworking, learning all about joinery, hardware, finishing and most importantly quality construction techniques. I applied my creativity and design knowledge to a career that has spanned construction, teaching, retail merchandising and my current endeavor, fine art woodworking. click to enlarge
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My first purely artistic challenge was wood carving, followed by backgammon board making. Traditionally, wooden backgammon boards are made from inlays of thin veneers, glued to a plain wooden board backing.

I took a different approach, with an eye to lasting quality: Precisely glueing contrasting woods together to create the classic board design, piece by piece. As with my boxes, the design goes all the way through the piece, not just on the surface.

Perfecting this segmented and laminated woodworking technique has allowed me to carve a personal niche in the fine craft arena.

My enjoyment of working in wood has led to a number of prestigious awards, and I frequently exhibit my work in juried fine art shows and galleries.

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I especially enjoy those moments when a new admirer enters my booth and discovers the "secrets" to my boxes: the concealed hardware, hidden buttons and sliding mechanisms that unexpectedly open drawers and compartments.

Woodworking Awards

Orange County Woodworker's Association
Best in Show 2004 & 2005, numerous other awards 2003 - 2006

Designs in Wood, Del Mar Fairgrounds
Third Place 2003 & 2004, Second Place 2005 & 2006

Indian Wells Arts Festival
Second Place 2004, First Place 2005 & 2006

Southwest Arts Festival in Indio
Third Place 2004, First Place 2005

Laguna Beach Art-A-Fair
First place 2003


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