Dan Pleska

I like woodworking because I get to take a rough piece of wood and shape it into a pleasing object. The textures of raw wood and the look of the different grains sometimes present a surprising pattern so that I am always intrigued by what I see. The different ways one can cut wood will expose different grain, which then presents its own challenge as to how it has to be finished. The woods I prefer most to work with are highly figured and exotic. They don’t look like anyone’s idea of what wood is because of the grain patterns and colors. Figured grain makes the ordinary piece of furniture or box more than its original intent and function.


I am a woodworker and a native West Virginian. I’ve lived in the Putnam County area for 30 years. I grew up in Nitro, WV and spent four years in the Navy after graduating from high school. I’ve been woodworking for 30 years. After retiring in 2004 from the chemical industry with 31 years of service, I now make fine furniture and accessories. My family and I live in Scott Depot, West Virginia. My wife Cat is a freelance writer, editor, and instructor for Arizona State University in the Master of Liberal Studies Program. My daughter Katie is employed at Cross Lanes Kennel. I’ve been a member of the Valley Woodworkers of West Virginia for 25 years. I’m also a member of Mountaineer Woodturners and The Society of American Period Furniture Makers.