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Love for WOOD & ART WORK

Tree to Table – Trash to Treasure

Though we do many different woodworking projects in our shop, the consistent thread running through all we do is reuse and being mindful of a greater value and potential in wood and the other objects we work with. I have saved many logs of some of the only tropical exotic hardwoods in this country. With a sawmill, I have transformed many unwanted logs into planks for the construction of everything from custom furniture and bars to yacht interiors. At the same time, I’ve had a curious attraction for old architectural objects. Key West has a rich history of old houses and boats with stories to tell if they could. From the discards, I have collected some remarkable castaways. I love to take those objects and give them a new purpose as well as create an heirloom that won’t be tossed away. Architectural elements recovered from old houses in Key West, assembled into frames for beveled mirrors, provide a unique stage to see oneself. Colors of the Caribbean are revealed through careful sanding of many years and layers of old paint. Linoleum, taking on a different presence in the form of little tiles and patterns evokes a warm nostalgia. Marbles, 23-carat marlins and found treasure become whimsical jewels that adorn the viewer.

Jimmy Wray

Founder of
Key West Woodworks

I helped my Dad build a shed when I was 12. It felt like real work. I got a summer job as a carpenter’s helper when I was 14 as well as the following summer. Part-time jobs seemed to evolve around building for the next few years. In college, I was involved in the work-study program and became an assistant in the woodshop of the art department at the University of South Florida, where I was an art student. There, I was introduced to the craft of good design and
construction. Building houses seldom lent itself for the thought and evolution of
good craft but rather had an emphasis on getting the job done as quickly as
possible. The smell of fresh cut wood was a constant and remains a smell that
draws passers by into our shop today. I met my wife and shop partner , Karen,
while in college. We graduated and bicycled from Tampa, Florida to Santa
Barbara, California . Here I worked for another great craftsman, fell in love with
wooden boats, and determined that was my future profession. The following year
we bicycled the west coast to Canada, across Canada to the Mississippi River
and south to Key West, Florida. We eventually found our shop on the docks,
where we have been for 35 years, building carved wooden signs, repairing old
sailboats, milling discarded trees, designing and building art and furniture,
teaching art and raising two wonderful children. One of them built this website.

Karen Wray
Owner of Key West Woodworks &
Collections Key West

Raising our children, now adults, and living on the docks on Stock Island, has led us in directions we never could have imagined. Whereas in my younger days, I was a sign carver by trade, I now find myself making art and representing dozens of artists in our gallery here on the dock at Safe Harbor Marina. Life and time itself, has shifted to a more present type of reality. I’d love to show you – the shop and gallery is open by appointment or virtually – come check us out.



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