Looking at Tom Dunne’s beautifully turned wooden bowls, it is hard to believe that his original field of study was mathematics. Born
in Indianapolis, Indiana, Tom received a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from
Harvard. He had an early interest in making things from wood watching a violin maker in
his studio and observing his uncle make wooden boats. His first training in woodworking was in a shop class in high school. After college, Tom joined the Peace Corps and spent five years in Peru and
Ecuador helping indigenous people market their crafts. Here he got his first training in wood carving.
Back in the U.S., Tom set up his own shop with a fifty year old lathe obtained from a friend. Later,
he was able to study with Ray Allen, one of the world’s foremost segmented wood turners and more recently received scholarships to study with Ray Key a well known English wood turner at
the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and with David Ellsworth, the world renown hollow turner.
After raising three children and being employed in the corporate finance world for twenty five years, Tom decided it was time to "listen to his inner voice" and give full time wood turning a chance. So,
in 1998 he left his job as Executive Director of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and has been turning full time ever since. He is a perfect example of the old adage that it is never too late to
embark on something new and challenging.