Carl has spent a lifetime in construction and holds 3 contractor licenses with the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. After 25 years of working in the construction inspections industry with the City of Tampa, Carl decided to shift gears and follow a passion he had pursued since childhood – building custom furniture. He met a local furniture maker and together they started and ran a successful custom furniture making shop, Franklin Street Fine Woodwork.
After 15 years of building furniture professionally Carl retired and now spends time with family, travels and when time permits, makes sawdust in his home shop. He is dedicated to giving back to his community and now, with the help of his nonprofit endeavors, he will be able to help others pursue their dreams of creating works of art and craft.
Kelly Parker is a designer and maker of contemporary studio furniture and sculpture. After graduating with a degree in Biochemistry she worked in the corporate world for 18 years before taking a rather circuitous route into art.
She has been awarded a professional development grant from the Furniture Society, was the first recipient of a professional development grant awarded by the Krenov Foundation, and was awarded Best in Show at the biannual
chair exhibition, American Craft Today: Chairs, hosted by The Bascom Gallery in North Carolina. Her work has been featured in Fine Woodworking, Australian Wood Review, and Rooted: Creating a Sense of Place: Contemporary Studio Furniture.
Kelly’s work often incorporates other materials such as metal, glass and acrylic. She is a passionate advocate for the craft and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others through both writing and teaching.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Meighan moved to Colorado, where she earned her Masters in Forensic Psychology and worked in that field for 15 years. She retired and moved to St Petersburg, Florida in 2015. Since arriving in Florida, she and her husband have been farming hay in Dade City, as well as undergoing an extensive conservation effort to reestablish and maintain wildlife habitat.
A relative newcomer to the field of woodworking, Meighan started by repairing and repurposing family heirlooms made of wood in her garage. She found the Florida School of Woodwork almost by accident, and since then has participated in multiple classes, developing her skills with both functional and creative pieces. Based on her own experience, Meighan recognizes the transformative power of woodworking, and is looking forward to helping others experience it as well.
Kurt Raschke is a furniture maker and artist. He graduated with a BFA in three-dimensional art from Georgia State University. He attended a furniture making intensive program at the Center for Furniture Craftmanship in Maine to hone his woodworking skills.
Both his furniture and sculptural work have been in gallery shows and exhibitions. He sometimes teaches woodworking classes and takes on apprentices. On occasion, he is recognized in public for some of the woodworking product videos he used to teach.
Kurt’s work is based on traditional techniques while creating modern designs. He loves to add quirky and fun touches to his work to reduce some of the seriousness we often associate with art.
By day, James serves as a Deputy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, contributing over 20 years of honorable service to date.
James’ love of woodworking was born several years ago from an initial simple focus of creating memorable & sentimental pieces for those he loves- from a stable rocking chair for his elderly father to an inspired closet system for his son as he grows into adolescence, to a dining room table for the family to gather around. James’ passion remains centered on creating beautiful original pieces, both functional and aesthetic, in a variety of mediums and uses. James enjoys creating new and challenging pieces and accepts commissions in his free time.
He is honored to serve on the board of Friends of the Florida School of Woodwork and looks forward to playing his part in making this medium accessible to new hearts and minds who are interested in the beauty and versatility of woodworking.