Lifelong love of wood reaps benefits for Karen Wood Trammell
Her maiden name is “Wood.”
She signed up for 4H woodworking during third grade despite her mother’s desire for her to sign up for sewing.
Then, in sixth grade, she moved to “Pine Knot,” KY.
With all that in mind, is it any surprise Karen Wood Trammell is now a top notch woodworker busily selling her wooden crafts across the nation?
Karen’s love for woodworking obviously started at a young age. Her entry into 4H woodworking as a third grader paid off when she was awarded a fifty cent piece and ribbon for the birdhouse she built with some help from her dad.
Her interest in woodworking continued as a teenager when she made gifts for family and friends. Her handcrafted gifts included birdhouses, birdfeeders, and picture frames.
Finally, in her thirties, she realized the power of scroll saws.
“Mom (Lorella) got interested in scroll saws and bought a saw,” Karen recalled. “She had it sent to my house, and it has been there ever since.”
Karen isn’t the first in her family to be drawn to wood. Her Grandpa Pleas Hamlin built coffins and houses, and her Grandpa John Wood was constantly making wooden crafts.
In 1997, Karen appeared on QVC for a special series of programs featuring fifty days in fifty states with some of the best crafters across the nation. During her five minute segment on the show, Karen sold 212 of her Ole General Store and Post Office banks.
“I was nervous,” Karen said of her appearance on QVC. “But the time passed quickly!”
Karen is adamant that a gal (or guy) can’t have too many tools in the workshop. She has the radial arm saw, table saw, band saw, and of course, her favorite scroll saw. She also depends on a glue gun and a variety of small hand saws, sanders, and of course, plenty of paint, varnish, stain, and glue.
Karen’s husband, Anthony, has a band sawmill and cuts some of the wood his wife uses. Karen makes a point to buy mostly local when purchasing wood. She works with pine, cedar, oak, walnut, cherry, and other types of wood.
“I like the smell of all wood,” she said with a grin.
Her husband has a definite advantage when it comes to buying gifts for his wife.
“He can buy me a saw or a tool instead of jewelry,” Karen said with a laugh. “One time, I told him to get me a set of screwdrivers for my birthday. He did. My dad always laughed about that.”
Karen enjoys making new products in addition to her standard items including banks, nativity scenes, name wagons, and coat racks. She still does birdhouses and feeders.
Currently, Karen has twenty bank orders to complete before Christmas and has just finished mailing out fifteen additional orders. It takes approximately five days to complete an order of twenty banks. She has shipped her handcrafted items as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, and France.
A member of the McCreary Mountain Craft Association, Karen participates in many small craft shows and four large annual shows in Crossville, Lexington, Morehead, and Allardt, TN.
Those interested in learning more or purchasing items can call locally or visit Trammell’s Woodwork on Etsy.com.