Makers We Love: David Pearson

Makers We Love: David Pearson

Name and Company

David Pearson. Once They Were Trees.

Tell us about your brand.

I get all of my wood from trees that have been taken down for other purposes or have fallen down.  I never cut down a tree just for the wood.   I like to say that Once They Were Trees is the art of recycling nature.

What is your story?

I love working with wood.  It's abundant and if you're crafty enough, it's pretty much free.  I've been working with wood most of my life.  My dad is a hobby woodworker and I picked it up from him.  He gave me my first lathe about 20 years ago and I've been turning bowls and other things ever since. 

What neighborhood do you live in?

I live in Plum.

What product of yours do we need to know about?

I started making penguin ornaments on a whim.  I showed them to Maxine Plotkin, who ran the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and she loved them and started selling them in the shop there.  That was about 12 years ago and I've been making them ever since.   

In three words, why do you love Pittsburgh?

Steelers, Pirates, Penguins.  

Were can we learn more about you?

My website is and my IG is @oncetheyweretrees.

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