Wooden You Know It

Photos by Billy Snyder

What many regard as swap meet trash, artist Eric Swesey sees as pure creative gold.

“I’m really into nostalgia and tradition,” he says. “I like to make things where you wouldn’t really know when it was made.”

The Americana-inspired craftsman specializes in pyrography, or wood burning, using a pointed heating element to etch everything from pin-up girls to imaginary nautical creatures into old furniture, blank skateboard decks and other wooden treasures.

Swesey has created graphic art for the County of San Diego and local surf shops. See his illustrations on pages 23, 36 and 75 of this month’s issue, and check out his wooden what-have-yous at