Wooden compasses handmade by artist David Bowers.

David Bowers

Wooden compasses & pens

David Bowers, a former engineer for a global furniture design firm in North Carolina’s Piedmont region, found himself yearning for a career that was a closer reflection of his true self. He’d always been a hands-on kind of guy with a special fondness for working with wood. Wanting to satisfy his adventurous spirit, David packed his bags for Tasmania in 1996. There, he spent two wonderful years immersing himself in woodworking as a full-time apprentice.

“There’s a joke that there are more lathes than people in Tasmania. It’s a Mecca for woodturning,” says Bowers. “I became fascinated with it.”

Within a week of his return to the U.S., David installed a lathe in his shop and continued to teach himself all aspects of lathe turning from videos and books he borrowed from the library. It didn’t take long before he found joy in his new profession as a full-time woodworker.

At Gallery of the Mountains, you’ll find David’s “useful art”—rustic wood-framed compasses and pens. He meticulously creates each piece in his Spartanburg, SC, workshop. But his talent doesn’t stop at practical items; he’s also a fine artist, crafting beautiful works of art from wood.

David leads a life that is closely connected to nature, sourcing most of his wood materials from fallen trees on his own land. He embraces a lifestyle of simplicity, choosing not to own a computer. Instead, David happily welcomes communication the old-fashioned way – through a telephone call.

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