By Nicole Collins, Staff Writer
Jason and Russell Hart, brothers born and raised in Woodruff, have long had a passion for custom wood burning and turning reclaimed wood into unique bowls, vases, bookmarks, jewelry box, ornaments and more. In 2017, they turned their woodworking hobby into their day job and haven’t looked back.
Even with all the uncertainties that 2020 brought, the brothers further expanded their business by building, with their own hands, a 288 square foot gallery to show case their custom artwork. The gallery sits across from their 900 square foot workshop located on family property on Hart Road in Woodruff.
The idea for the gallery cultivated about two years ago but they had to put that on pause due to the demand from galleries and shows requiring them to spend time making product. When COVID-19 pandemic started shutting down all the festivals and shows they would typically attended, they suddenly had to the free time needed to finish the gallery.
“We normally travel to art shows and craft festivals to sell our work, so with all of those being shut down, we decided to focus on our local market and open a small ‘hidden’ gallery,” said Jason Hart.
In fact, the brothers didn’t attend a single show in 2020. They had the opportunity to participate in a couple of Christmas shows but had to decline as they were already dedicated to filling orders for local art galleries that needed to be restocked and committed to opening the gallery.
On Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, the gallery officially opened to the public. The only marketing was a Facebook post. “We had no idea how big a response we would get by just by putting a post on Facebook,” said Jason.
While the Hart brothers have not established regular shopping hours for the gallery yet, they invite people to visit them in the workshop Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., if they don’t mind the mess.
“As we both live nearby, we often open at odd hours to accommodate others’ schedules. People are welcome to call, text or message us on Facebook to set up after hour times,” said Jason.
At any given time, the workshop is filled with pieces in various stages of the woodworking process. While they haven’t quantified how long it takes to complete any specific piece, Jason provides a snap shot of the process that goes into making one of their vases: slabbing the logs, cutting the slabs into 4x4s, turning cylinders, rough turning vases, burning with high voltage electricity, adding epoxy, sanding and cutting base off, and then finally spraying with lacquer.
As for the wood they use, they aren’t picky about where it comes from. “There’s enough people around here that know we do this, and people just give us wood anytime they have it,” said Jason. “We like some better than others, but we’ll take all free wood.”
A true community effort. When they first got started, Eddie Huckabee, a former owner of Waters Tire, would bring them truckloads of wood for free.
But if they had to choose the type of wood they like best, Jason prefers to work with cherry, black walnut and maple while Russell’s favorite is cherry. “It looks good, it turns good and it smells good,” said Russell, explaining why he likes working with cherry wood.
In December, the Hart brothers announced their partnership with South Carolina State Parks in which they were tasked with creating their style art from one of the old “witness trees” from the Rose Hill Plantation in Union. When a 170-year-old hickory tree fell during a storm last Spring, the State Parks organization reached out to the Hart brothers and asked them to produce art pieces from that tree. All told, the brothers created about 40 pieces from that tree which are now sold exclusively in the Rose Hill park store.
Additionally, they often donate vases or bowls to charity events for silent auctions or raffles. And if you’re interested in your own custom piece from the Hart Brothers, just give them a call.
The Turned and Burned gallery and workshop is located at 155 Hart Rd. in Woodruff, off from Hwy. 101. Follow them on Facebook at Turned and Burned or give them a call at 864.238.5729 or 864.237.4543.
Regional galleries and stores that carry Turned and Burned products:
- Kindred Spirits, Spartanburg, S.C.
- Vintage Warehouse, Spartanburg, S.C.
- The Melange Gallery, Greenville, S.C.
- Made on Main, Simpsonville, S.C.
- The Millstone Gallery, Landrum, S.C.
- Dare Gallery, Charleston, S.C.
- Sandpiper Gallery, Sullivan’s Island, S.C.
- The Carpenter Gallery, Newberry, S.C.
- Rose Hill Plantation Gift Shop, Union, S.C.
- Gallery Zella, Bryson City, N.C.
- SC State Museum Gift Shop, Columbia, S.C.