When art meets wood

By: 
Walter Sprague

Photo by Walter Sprague/NLJ

The beautiful wood and acrylic “River Table,” created by artist Dylon Tidyman, was on display at the Newcastle High School Industrial Arts Show.

 

Encouragement is a tremendous driving force in any creative endeavor. Dylon Tidyman expressed this thought as one of the reasons that a weekend hobby has grown to the point of opening his own business with his brother Bryson Tidyman. The hobby  began with buying a wood lathe during his sophomore year of high school in 2017. The brothers turned out small wooden bowls and custom pens, but as friends started buying these trinkets, as Dylon calls them, the Tidymans realized that they might have a business venture. And so, Beaver Creek Custom Woodworking was born.

I first became acquainted with Dylon’s work at the high school arts and industrial arts show at the end of the 2019 school year. I was wandering around all the furniture, impressed by many of the pieces I saw. But when I came upon an acrylic and cedar coffee table, called River Table, I was blown away. Dylon didn’t finish the project with a high gloss. Instead, he put on a satin finish, which doesn’t hide any flaws, but I couldn’t see one flaw. That piece is a perfect melding of beautiful wood and wonderfully figured blue acrylic. I had to know more about the student who made this fantastic table. So I talked to the industrial arts teacher, Bryce Hoffman, and he told me a bit about Dylon. When I found out that he was running his own woodworking business, I was floored.

Arts, crafts and photography have always fascinated me. But to take something you love and run a business with it, while still in high school, was more than I had ever imagined. It breaks down the mold of mainstream ideology regarding this generation. When you hear about centennials, the last description of them you might hear is diligent, creative and polite. But that is what I found in this student. Also known for his ability on the basketball court, Dylon also came across as modest and delightfully humorous. I liked him as soon as I met him and sat down to talk.

When Bryson left for college last year, Dylon found himself running the business pretty much by himself. He produces custom pens, safety razors and wine stoppers, most of them turned out of specialty woods he finds on the internet, but some are made with acrylic. He has also started to make smartphone covers, which have sold well.

The venture first started in the woodshop class when Dylon was a sophomore. When Dylon realized how much he liked working with the lathe, he and his brother soon bought their own. He scoured the internet for instruction and quickly found websites that sold pen kits, as well as plenty of videos about lathe work. Dylon watched many YouTube videos on the use of a lathe. This education built his confidence quickly, and soon he was entering trade shows around the area and has developed like-minded friends and many repeat customers from these events. He also has a number of his creations for sale at Skull Creek Boutique at 219 Main St.

One of his favorite materials to work with is sprinkled epoxy, Dylon said, from which he has made many stunning pieces (all featured on his Instagram page). Dylon’s plans include expanding his web presence and developing a better online store. He also wants to make better videos that teach new woodworkers ways of expressing their creativity with the lathe and chisel. Dylon also runs an engraving business. Using computers, scanners and a razor engraver, he can etch anything from wine glasses to the custom pens, giving those items a personal touch. He finds great fulfillment in that individual contact, he said, not just with the crafts but also with the customer.

I have run into many people with skills that have impressed me to no end in this town. None of them have made an impact on me as quickly and thoroughly as Dylon Tidyman. That has a lot to do with his age. It’s not something I expected. But mostly it is because of the beautiful work that I’ve seen. I used a lathe once, in junior high school. My finished product wasn’t what I’d call a masterpiece. But I also developed the fear of putting out that kind of money to buy my own lathe. And then I meet someone who has not only conquered his fears, if there is such a thing in him, but who has also gone past the simple bowls and trinkets and learned how to create real art. Seeing that cedar and acrylic table has reinforced my belief that pure art comes in more forms than we usually think it does. When you see his pens, his razors and other works, you realize this is not just a woodworker. Those are a dime a dozen. Dylon is an artist of the highest quality.

You can see some of his work at Skull Creek Boutique on Main Street. You can also reach Dylon and Beaver Creek Woodworking at 307-949-0660. His website is www.bccwoodworking.store, or you can view his Instagram page at beaver_creek_woodworking. For that one-of-a-kind custom project, you’ll be happy to make Dylon’s acquaintance, and you won’t be disappointed with his work.

 

*Editors Note: The phone number previously listed has been changed to correct an error in the contact information for Beaver Creek Woodworking. The number now listed is correct. We regret the error. 

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News Letter Journal

News Letter Journal
14 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 40
Newcastle, WY 82701
Ph: (307) 746-2777
Fax: (307) 746-2660

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