Terry Truesdell

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About Terry

All of Terry's life he has felt most comfortable around wood. Whether in his workshop creating functional items out of exotic pieces or native fallen logs or out in the forest camping or fishing amid the tall pines or reading in his hand-paneled den, Terry's creativity, livelihood and relaxation all revolve around wood.

If you ask him he will say it is in his blood. For generations his ancestors have been lumbermen, woodworkers, architects, builders and furniture restorers, so maybe its allure is genetic. Beginning at a very young age Terry was fascinated by the way things work, both in nature and with man made items. He studied the way things fit together, tinkering with a drawer full of mismatched items at his Grandfather's house, building lean-tos and slingshots out of natural branch formations in the woods, and by the time he was in junior high school, he could build most anything out of his material choice.

But life experience has played a large role in shaping Terry's love of working with wood as well. Studying design and photography at the University of Michigan opened his eyes to traditional and contemporary art in all forms. After a stint in the Army, a job in advertising helped him to relate to consumers and how to market to them. And after marrying the love of his life, Judy, Terry hung out his first shingle in his hometown of Niles, Michigan as Ironwood Designs. A successful career as a self employed designer followed and for the past forty years he and Judy have run several companies side by side.

Starting in the mid 1970's, Ironwood Displays created custom fixtures for bookstores, libraries and large chains such as Meijer, Walmart and Kroger. Tree Play, Inc. evolved in the later part of the decade after Terry designed a redwood swing set for their daughter, Meg. With Judy as CEO, Tree Play sold a line of redwood play structures all over the country throughout the 1980's with the help of companies like Hammacher-Schlemmer and Neiman Marcus. Terry's design of Meg's wedding cupcake stand in 2000 began Cupcaketree.com, the first company to offer such a product, which now operates as a global company shipping Cupcaketrees all over the world. In between, Terry has designed and built everything from furniture to boats to campers and has even collaborated with Meg on a line of jewelry.

Throughout all of his professional endeavors Terry has also worked with wood as a hobby. Starting with dollhouse furniture for Meg (too small), then canoes for himself (too big), he fell in love with knife making twenty-five years ago (just right!) and has been making them ever since.

Somewhere on your creation is a small brass piece stamped with the word "Truesdell". This stamp was one of the odds and ends in the drawer of his Grandfather that Terry would play with as a child. Over one hundred and fifty years old, his Great Grandfather's steel stamp marked all of the family tools and now puts the finishing touch on every Truesdell original.

After a long career designing a producing for others, Terry is pleased to be spending his retirement crafting artistic yet functional one-of-a-kind pieces which he hopes will bring you as much happiness in use as they have brought him in their creation.