About the Artist – Dave Watkins

David A. Watkins (Dave) was born in the small town of Midway, Utah.  He worked with wood projects most of his life.  His father, Clyde, enjoyed woodworking as well.  Late in Clyde’s life he made wooden toys for his children and grand children to enjoy.   From his youth, Dave has had this same interest in making things. He has always enjoyed working with his hands.

He was married to Barbara and they had 3 children, Robert, Alan, and Karen, who all enjoyed the things their father would make or repair for them.  They also have 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.  When his two sons were in Cub Scouts, Dave used his woodworking skills to help them build their cars for the Pinewood Derbies that were held.

Dave and Bob in Designer Woods shop at the staining table.

He worked for IBM for 26 years, working on typewriters and other office equipment.   When he retired, in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1987, he began building oak furniture.   He started with desks, tables, and other furniture for a friend who owned a furniture store.   Dave made furniture to put in the store as well as   custom furniture to fit a specific area in someone’s home.   He loved the design part of it.  He also built kitchen cabinets for a contractor friend.  He was then invited to build front/registration desks and cabinets for a motel construction company.  This took him throughout much of the western United States.

He built many of the needed office desks, bookcases, etc. for Northern Arizona University. Dave was also commissioned to design and build the book shelves for the new Bill Gates Library at NAU.  He also built most of the office desks and furniture for the new Coconino County Community College. When the time came for him to move, he took his business with him to Southern Utah.   In the year 2000, he purchased a book called “Beautiful Band Saw Boxes”.  This is an excellent book on how to make band saw boxes.  After a few years, the desks and bookcases, etc. began to be too heavy for him and he wanted to scale down, but was not ready to quit.  That was when he decided to make jewelry boxes. This, however, did not satisfy him completely.  He also wanted to be the designer.  He made alterations in the patterns he found that fit his own ideas and then began making custom designs for boxes that he thought would be interesting, or that people asked him to design and build for them. He enjoys sitting at his desk working on new designs or reworking old ones to make them better.  He has won many awards and ribbons for his woodworking talents.

Designer Woods booth at Fountain Hills, AZOne of Dave’s favorite parts of this hobby is going to art shows and meeting the people. BoothHe loves to talk with people about his woodworking and show them how to do what he does.  He loves to share his talents and hear how the people are using and enjoying the items they purchase from him.

Last Christmas, Dave wanted to give a special gift to his granddaughter, Alysha, who is an avid horse fan.   He obtained a picture of a paint horse and proceeded to design the pattern for “Ol’ Paint” that is in our current catalog.  This woodworking project was done with love for his granddaughter.   It has gone on to be a good seller in our line.

When he is not working with wood, he enjoys spending time at his computer doing genealogy/family history. This has become his second passion.  He is active in his church and spends many hours serving others.  He also enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends or on his 4-wheeler in the beautiful southern Utah country side.

Old Painted horse