Bringing Color To The World

One of the most amazing discoveries upon entering Doug’s woodworking shop for the first time was to face bright colorful slabs of wood. The deep orange of African Padouk and dark purple Purple Heart wood appear to be dyed with extra pigment. As a child, I learned to attribute any of nature’s phenomenas to “Mother Nature.” The deep color of the wood represents Mother Nature at her finest.

Examples of specific colorful woods in Doug’s shop:

orange  African Padouk

purple   Purple Heart

black    Wenge

yellow   Alaskan Cedar

rose      Babinga

Doug uses these rich tones as contrast to the lighter woods such as pine to create inlayed stripes and edging like no other craftsman.

It is interesting to realize how wood is darkened by heat of kiln drying process. When Doug air-dried his alder wood, it had a rainbow of pastels from pink, to orange, and even some blue. With an application of sealer, the wood turned deep orange. Interestingly, when dried it lightened up and resumed a bit of the original tones.

When first cut, Purple Heart is deep brown, and within a short amount of time it becomes purple once more. When African Padouk is cut into, Doug finds rich deep red and orange tones. He admits the varied dark natural colors enliven him.


“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ” 
Oscar Wilde

We are used to seeing woods used in floors and cabinets represented in various shades of brown. I had no idea they came in so many additional colors. It’s fun to witness how Doug uses these unusual bright woods to accent the usual. It’s also wonderful to know that Doug is doing his part to bring color to the world.

color examples of woods