2009 Award Recipient | WOOD SCULPTURE , Eureka Springs
Doug Stowe of Eureka Springs was named the 2009 Arkansas Living Treasure for his work as a woodworker.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking field. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hastings College in Hastings, Neb., and taking some ceramics classes at Memphis State University, Stowe moved to Eureka Springs and set up shop as a potter.
In 1976, Stowe began working with wood at a small furniture shop to supplement his income. He realized then that his true calling was not in pottery, but in woodworking.
From 1976 to 1995, Stowe was a self-employed craftsman making custom furniture and a line of small boxes. Early in his career, he said he fell in love with the variety, colors and textures of native Arkansas hardwood species. He only uses Arkansas woods in his work.
In 1995, Stowe wrote his first book, "Creating Beautiful Boxes with Inlay Techniques," and has written numerous articles for a variety of national woodworking magazines, including American Woodworker, Fine Woodworking and Woodwork. He has published seven books.
In 2001, after noting a severe decline in participation in crafts by younger generations – and specifically a decline in woodworking programs in schools – Stowe developed the Wisdom of Hands program at Clear Spring School in Eureka Springs.
The purpose of this program is to demonstrate the value of woodworking in general, non-vocational education. Today, he is the director of the program and also a teacher at the school.
Stowe has become an international advocate for hands-on learning for children. He has twice presented papers on the subject at universities in Finland and Sweden. He continues to write regularly for a variety of woodworking magazines, and he also contributes daily to a blog that attracts readers from all over the world.