Les in the shop Les is always in a good frame of mind when he is in the shop!

Les Witherel has always loved wood. As a young boy he spent every free moment hiking through the hardwood forests which surrounded the small town in which he grew up. He carved kachina dolls and built rolltop breadboxes and elaborate tree houses. His fascination with wood led to a long career as a carpenter.

As an adult, Les continued to enjoy spending hours in his workshop turning bowls on the lathe and making various wooden items as gifts for family and friends. He wanted others to be able to appreciate the many beautiful faces of wood so he began to use exotic woods and highly figured birdseye or curly maple wood that is usually reserved for fine furniture and musical instruments.

Order requests for Les's beautiful gift items increased and Sleeping Bear Woodworks was born. His passion for his craft is evidenced by the time and care he takes in creating each one of our products.

Les's favorite comment came from a small boy who visited our crafts fair booth. As he ran his hand back and forth over a birdseye maple cutting board, he excitedly called out to his mother, "Look Mom, it has bumps but you can't feel them!"

Les turning Les turning an acorn shape at the bottom of a faerie cottage.

Back to main page