About Kent Parker
Growing up amidst a family of engineers, artists and adventurers Parker was fortunate to have an upbringing that instilled a high regard for the natural world and fostered an appreciation for the intricacies of form, pattern, and color found therein.
Parker's appreciation for crafts led to a early apprenticeship as a wood boat builder. He devoted his spare time to further honing his skills by re-building four of his own wooden sailboats. Upon leaving the boat yard he started his own woodworking business repairing vessels, doing custom yacht interiors and accepting commissions for one off furniture pieces.
His path led to a career as a marine surveyor in which he provided formal inspections of all types of yachts for prospective buyers and other interested parties. After thirty three successful years he enjoyed a reputation that has made him one the most highly regarded members of this profession on the Pacific Coast.
Parker first discovered his love of crafting small wooden containers imbued with beauty and meaning when his father-in-law passed away. Dismayed by the generic urns on display at the mortuary, he offered to create a container for his father-in-law’s remains. Word of his skill and craftsmanship spread, and he went on to create several more urns for family friends.
This endeavor led Parker, a resident of Napa for more than 18 years, to launch an eponymous business making other types of wooden containers—particularly custom presentation boxes for wine bottles. The boxes range from elegant, single-bottle containers to an elaborate, multi-bottle art piece modeled after a Steinway concert piano.
Parker takes much of his inspiration from the endless variety of patterns and shapes found in nature. This eternal natural art show has provided him with a multitude of ideas for his designs. "Working as an artist I get to tell the story but the supporting cast is always nature that helps to guide my way."
Along with visual beauty, the tactile element is important in his work. Parker views texture, imperfections, bumps, and inlays that disturb the flow of wood grain as invitations to touch and provide an opportunity to engage more of the senses. He is attracted to wood with prominent grain patterns that he can incorporate into his designs.
When working with a client on a new design, he begins by asking about the person’s aspirations of the piece in terms of its function, size, shape and materials. Depending on the item, he may create a mock-up to help clients visualize how it will work in their environment.
“Building trust in a client is priceless,” Parker says, “and it is my goal that my honesty and skill will foster that connection.”
Kent Parker Wood and Stone