Thomas R. Irven is a wood artist who has been producing custom furniture in his Bellaire, TX studio since 1987. Thomas, who has a BS in Business and an MS in Occupational Education, has taught woodworking and drafting in the public schools and in private institutions. Irven apprenticed under an English master craftsman and has conducted seminars in which he has taught woodworking, woodturning, and design. Woodturning has always been a passion for Thomas, and played a large part in his furniture making. In 1998, turning wood became the focus of his work. Thomas is currently teaching classes in woodworking and is designing and producing woodturnings for wholesale and retail markets.

“My commitment to the quality of each piece I make is evident in the work itself. The scope of my pieces has ranged from entertainment centers and church sanctuary furniture to small decorative boxes and turned vessels. I grappled for some time with a need to evolve from a furniture maker into a career woodturner; I happily made that transition in 1998.

I find creative balance and satisfaction in manipulating the forms I produce on the lathe. My designs grow out of an inherent respect for the rarity and the extraordinary aesthetic qualities of the woods I use. Unusual materials deserve remarkable presentations; I seek unexpected forms that will reveal the exotic character of the woods. I further embellish the forms in any number of ways including, but not limited to, coloring and texturing interior and/or exterior surfaces. The knowledge that my objects delight their owners by providing visual and tactile pleasure, and by being useful as well, brings me real joy. It is the eccentric finial on the pleasure of creating the piece.”