Mark Waninger

“The combinations are endless when different wood species are paired together and turned into various shapes of bowls or vessels. It is fascinating every time.”

Mark Waninger


Mark Waninger’s functional and decorative wood creations are what results when a master millwright listens to his artistic muse.

“I always enjoyed lathe work during my 20 years of doing custom millwork for residential builders, lumber yards and cabinet companies,” Mark says. “When I turned 50, I decided it was the right time to express more of my creativity.

“Segmented woodturning allows me to combine my expertise in joinery with my imagination to create unique items on the lathe,” he adds.

The art form involves fitting together precisely cut pieces of wood in a way that allows their unique shapes and patterns to emerge.

“As the excess wood is cut away, a newly created piece of art gradually takes shape,” the Boone County artisan explains.

Mark follows this process to create candy dishes, decorative vessels and bowls. He primarily uses walnut, maple, cherry, white oak and ash — all native Indiana hardwoods — complementing them with exotic woods such as mahogany, purple heart and ebony to create contrast and color accents.

Mark says he developed a deep appreciation for wooded areas as a child, having retreated to forests near his Southern Indiana home to escape his three sisters.

“I spent many afternoons every summer wandering among the beautiful native Indiana hardwoods, watching the wildlife and appreciating the serenity,” he says. “The time I spend in the shop now, producing this artwork, offers a similar feeling of relaxation.”

He’s also committed to reforesting for future generations to enjoy. “I have personally hand-planted nearly 4,000 trees,” he says.

Mark is honored to be included as an Indiana Artisan. “I want to be involved in helping expand the image of what Indiana has to offer, and I appreciate Indiana Artisan’s efforts to help artists gain wider recognition.”

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