T R Williams is a woodcarver who specializes in utensils, particularly spoons of all sizes. He lives with his wife, who is a poet, on a small farm in Bourbon County, KY.
In 1980, an earthquake felled a black cherry tree of Williams’ farm. Rather than using the tree as firewood, Williams decided to see if he could carve it into something interesting. He produced a series of bowls, which gained him membership in the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. He has been making and selling fine woodenware ever since.
Although Williams most often carves black cherry, he also uses pear, crabapple, mulberry, and hard maples. When possible, Williams prefers to use wood that has been culled by nature. Because nature damaged so many trees in an ice storm in Kentucky in February 2003, Williams says he has “almost more stock than he can use.”
Williams does not carve his spoons to a set pattern. Although most conform to a general type, no two are exactly alike. He coats his pieces with a finish that is USDA-approved for use in contact with food.
TR Williams’ work can be found on line at the Appalachian Fireside Gallery, Berea, KY and Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.