National News

Dallas man turning disaster debris into works of art

Posted September 25

— He stood over a large piece of wood, half planed and sanded, the other half a rough cut.

"Most people can't see this inside this," Doc Wright said, pointing first at the freshly sanded wood grain, then at the rough lumber.

Even fewer could've imagined a tree torn out of the ground by the 2015 Red Oak Christmas tornado could turn into a work of art.

Wright did.

"I love the fact that I have the ability to look at a piece of wood that you would look at and be like, 'Aw man, that's ugly. It's gray, and it has dirt on it.' I'm like, 'Give me an hour. I'll blow your mind.'"

A year ago, Wright was a member of corporate America.

"I wasn't happy," he said. "It sucked."

He had the money he'd been chasing, but it wasn't making him happy so he went against the grain, trying his hand at woodworking. He'd spent most of his life working with his hands, but this discipline was a new one.

"When I did my first few pieces, that's when I was actually taken aback like, 'All right. So no matter what I make it's always going to look different. That's pretty cool,'" he said.

When he decided he was serious about switching professions, it was time to figure out cost for his new business, The Wright Edge. From cutting slabs of wood to drying them, planing, sanding, and even custom epoxy, it's all Doc and his business partner.

Then they got an assist on finding wood.

"We are connected with this company based out of Dallas called Retreet," Wright said. "They're a non-profit company who, after natural disasters, they go in and replant trees, replant shrubs. Your neighborhood gets totaled. They just come in an replant everything."

A not-so-pristine piece of Pecan came from Red Oak to Retreet and then to Doc.

"This was the worst piece out of that entire stack, and it's beautiful," he said, pointing to a recently finished table.

With his handprint on each piece, Doc's second chance means one for our fallen trees too.

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