Mark Donham never met one of the most influential men in his life, Darrel D. Donham, his grandfather. The elder Donham designed the Terre Haute house where Mark was raised and created the woodwork that Mark has always found inspiring. Darrel left furniture and many of the tools he used to make it in the basement. For Mark, that was a treasure trove where he could go to tinker. I became aware of many woodworking possibilities while taking shop in high school, he said. The wood program in the Art Department at Indiana State University totally opened the floodgates on my creative potential. I became much more technically proficient and was hooked. He continued studying art, with a focus on wood, at Arizona State University, where he earned a masters of Fine Art. The Parke County artisan crafts eclectic woodworking, furniture and sculpture in a studio that he houses in a clapboard church built in 1852. A huge cast iron bell still occasionally rings from the steeple. Mark carefully selects wood from cherry, walnut, maple, sassafras and other trees that grow nearby. The local species provide me with all the wondrous variety I could hope for, he said. I feel proud of being a fourth generation Indiana native. I love this place. A small mill a half-mile from his Deer Run Studio saws the logs into planks and dries the wood. Mark uses traditional labor-intensive joinery to construct his furniture. I try to make things with simplicity of form and with longevity in mind, he said. Its an understatement to say that Mark loves what he does. Although life has taken me down many a road, I have taken becoming a craftsman quite seriously, he said. Basically there is no other occupation or vocation I would want to have. He earned a Masters of Fine Art in wood sculpture and is a self-employed craftsman. Being part of a community of artisans attracted him to Indiana Artisan. I enjoy being involved with other artisans in a group that fosters education and exposure of fine art and craftsmanship to the general public, Mark said. I feel the exposure my work may receive through this organization may add to my ability to make a living with my woodworking.