Dennis from DGM Wooodworks was raised in Alcoa, Tennessee, a small town close to the Smoky Mountains, where he married his wife and two of his three kids were born. Career opportunities brought him to Georgia, where he has lived in Powder Springs for the past 20 years. Dennis has a cat that his daughters named Peyton after Peyton Manning because they have been Manning fans since his days at the University of Tennessee. They rescued Peyton from an animal shelter when he was 6 weeks old.
A self-described easy going, Southern man who loves to talk to people, Dennis enjoys reading Woods and Gresham as well as history. He plays the guitar with his son, picking their acoustic or electric guitars from their vast collection.
How did you get started working with wood?
I was always a weekend woodworker. After spending 28 years in the telecommunications field, I decided to drop out from corporate America and start a cabinet business. My primary focus is custom closets and I am currently a Closet Maid dealer. When the recession hit, business slowed down to the point that I had more time to get back to enjoying craft work. I have always wanted to do crafts and shows, but never had the time until the last couple of years. I am self-taught, but have been fortunate to have found experienced people along the way to provide guidance when needed.
How long have you been doing it?
I started my cabinet business in 2002. I have been doing crafts since the fall of 2007.
Can you tell us a little of your process?
I buy all my wood as “rough” meaning that it has not yet been planed smooth or have square edges. I run everything through a planer and square the edges on a jointer and then cut to size depending on the needs of the current project. I pick and match woods to provide the best contrast to provide the “pop” factor. My primary woods of choice are walnut, maple, and cherry. However, I do use exotic woods for contrasting inlays.
Do you have a dedicated work area/room?
Yea, I have a dedicated shop.
Is this your full-time job? Hobby? Fun?
Woodworking is my full time business, but crafts are part time right now. I view my crafts business as a second job and possibly what I may do in my retirement years. The craft side is definitely the fun part because I enjoy exhibiting at shows and meeting other artists and crafters.
What’s your favorite part of working with wood?
I like the design process. I design with a pencil and paper and it is fun to play around with designs and tweak prototypes.
Where do you get your materials?
I buy most of my lumber from Peachstate Lumber in Kennesaw, Georgia. The ceramic bowls that I sell with my dipping boards are made by JNpottery in Massachusetts specifically sized to fit the well in the board. I discovered Judy on Etsy and she stepped up to provide me with these bowls in quantity.
Do you have a favorite item you make?
I really like the cutting boards because I can experiment with different wood types and designs. However, I am particularly fond of my bookmarks which are a new item for this year. I am using a lot of exotic woods, and like cutting boards, the design possibilities are endless. The bookmarks have been a very popular item at shows this year.
Where do you get your ideas?
My first cutting boards came from woodworking magazine articles. Some of my other products were made because of a need in my home, or a family gift. Many times I just visualize changes and wood parings to create another pattern or pleasing design.
Once I make a finished item, or prototype, I evaluate its ability to sell based on material and labor costs. I have a few prototypes in my shop that will never go to production because I determined that the cost to produce is higher than the realistic price point. These items will be used in my home or given as gifts.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Hopefully retired and traveling around to art and craft shows full time.