Thom’s original designs grow out of his years as a nature photographer and student of art and anthropology, and the unique perspective of being a self-taught woodworker. He began Wood Play 101 on the workbench his grandfather built for him when he was four. Then he built all the basic furniture for their home with very rudimentary tools while earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photographic Design at Florida State University.

The idea of woodworking for a living arose and was followed by the slow accumulation of appropriate tools, space and knowledge. He attended seminars with fine woodworkers. In the end, most of his skills were learned through experimentation and persistence. Thom continues to pursue his lifelong interest in photography, although the woodworking consumes so much of his time that photography often suffers from periods of neglect.

Sue began her craft career as a studio potter. She studied with Charles Scott at Glenville College and attended classes at the Marshall University Department of Fine Arts, she also participated in several workshops. She worked for several years producing functional wheel thrown stoneware vessels until health issues caused her to give up the medium she loved. She then reluctantly joined Thom in the wood studio, where she learned woodworking by watching Thom learn and attending some seminars with him. In addition to full time woodworking, Sue also pursues a passion for quilting and has recently begun to create lamp work glass beads.