Woods of Wisdom LLC

 Like fingerprints, the colors and grain patterns naturally exist within the trees

Bruton Parish Church Magnolia

Preserving History

There are times in your life when instinct and emotions override priorities.  Our priority, on the morning of March 24th, 2015, was to once again walk down the quaint roads of Colonial Williamsburg and enjoy its unique and peaceful setting.  A simple morning walk quickly transformed into a “calling” by the sound of a busy chainsaw.  The intended walk had ended.

We quickly found ourselves staring at a magnificent Magnolia tree in the courtyard of Bruton Parish Church.  Most of its branches had been removed and it just stood there waiting… waiting for the next cut.

We paused and reflected on the possible age of the tree and how it has provided shade and shelter for countless visitors to the church yard and those loved ones whom reside in its soil.  To us, this was a sacred tree. 

We captured the attention of the two men given the task of the tree’s removal and asked them “Why is the tree coming down?” The answer was simple.  It had grown too close to the wall and had to be removed.  The chainsaw continued. 

We watched as the remainder of the trunk was completely removed.  The stump was all that remained and clearly indicated its 87 years of existence.  The shade and shelter were gone. 

     “What will you do with this tree? We asked. 

     “Bring it to the dump” was the reply.

     “Can we have it?!” 

     “Sure! That will save us dump fees!”

We could only smile…for we had just saved the tree!!

The “Calling” began.  It was to bring “Maggie” back to life and to honor those buried within the soil and her roots!  It would last for the next six and a half years.

No one knew…  

No one watched…   

It was slow and purposeful…

Every single bowl and vessel, nearly 70 of them, went through the process:

  • Shaped
  • Hollowed
  • Dried
  • Re-shaped
  • Sanded
  • Hand-carved
  • Final hollowed
  • Re-carved
  • Lids made
  • Lids carved
  • Finish applied
  • Hand waxed

The magnificent magnolia has now taken on a new life.  The ancestors of yesteryear have donned on a new suit, a new dress and pearl necklaces abound!

It was our calling and we were fully blessed by it all…  The Bruton Parish Magnolia lives on!

Starting on December 12th, 8 am – 3 pm, we will be in the Custis House across from the church, offering the Bruton Parish Church congregation the first opportunity to view and purchase the magnolia tree art. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Bruton Parish Church Mission & Outreach Fund.  Additional days and times are below. To view the nearly 70 pieces we made from this sacred tree, please go to our photo gallery.

Bruton Parish Church Magnolia

December 11-14 & 19th

Custis House (across from the church)

Dec 11th, 1 - 4: Preview Showing for select Bruton Parish members

Dec 12th, 9am - 3 pm: Art on display & available for purchase to Parish congregation

Dec 19th, 9am - 3 pm: Open to public