From Trees to Art


CULLMAN – Cullman County is home to a variety of talented artists. For example, Mr. Jarrod Smitherman is a Vinemont High School teacher by day and master craftsman by night. Jarrod has the ability to take plain wood and turn it into usable art. Each item is unique because no two pieces of wood are exactly the same.

“Woodworking is a long tradition in my family,” Smitherman said with a nostalgic smile.

“My father has done it as a serious hobby for most of my lifetime.  My grandfather built cabinets and did some home construction. My great-grandfather was a carpenter. But I have learned the most from my father, who often accompanies me at craft shows.”

As attendees pass by vendor after vendor at the craft shows around town, it's hard for them to overlook Smitherman’s display. His wooden merchandise catches their attention within seconds.

“I make an assortment of items out of wood.  Most of what I do is functional, like pens, rolling pins, light chain pulls, etc.  I do a lot of woodturning, which is a form of woodworking in which the items are round or cylindrical.”

Jarrod feels that working with wood is more than just a hobby; he’s in it for more than money. He gets great satisfaction by creating objects with his two hands.

“There is just something really satisfying about taking a piece of wood and a few basic tools and revealing the beauty of God’s creation,” he explained.

“I really enjoy meeting new people and seeing the joy on their faces when they purchase a gift for a friend or family member knowing that the gift was made by hand right here in Cullman County.”

Smitherman is known by many around town for his talent. When a customer buys one of his pieces, they tend to come back for more. Word of his ability has spread quickly and many have sought him out to customize a piece of wood with a symbolic meaning.

“I have had a number of customers who wanted an item made to certain specifications out of wood with some sentimental value,” he said.

“I turned a pair of rolling pins for one customer from a tree that had fallen down at her mother’s childhood home.  I have turned a number of pens for people who came from hardwood floor scraps from a childhood home, or wood from a tree that fell during the April 2011 tornadoes.”

Christmas will be here before you know it and now is the time to think about gifts for that special someone in your life.

If you would like to know more about Jarrod Smitherman and his artwork available for sale, check out his Facebook page Woodchuck Turning Studio at You can also find him at major craft shows in the Cullman County area.