Member Profile – Jim Sockwell

Jim Sockwell finds artistic inspiration in the natural beauty of his surroundings in the mountains of North Carolina.  Each piece of his marquetry is one-of-a-kind, incorporating original designs with hand-selected native and exotic, natural hardwood veneers.  Jim’s mastery of Old World techniques in combination with his artistic vision results in modern pieces with depth and movement not found in traditional marquetry.

“I try to make each piece tell a story.  For example, in my “Honeysuckle” piece I show the developing flower from its early beginning to the end, when the flower fades and dies.”

Jim has been a master craftsman for 52  years, beginning as a production potter in 1965.  After studying art at Middle Tennessee State University, he owned and operated Tanglewood Pottery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  In 1972, he moved his family to Spruce Pine, NC and opened a pottery studio on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  In 1978 he embarked on a new career, land surveying, while exploring the craft of marquetry in his spare time.  These years spent outdoors, surveying the mountains of North Carolina, formed the foundation of the subject matter of his marquetry pieces.  In 2005, Jim retired from land surveying and began creating marquetry full-time.

Jim Sockwell has been a juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 1969, and has served on the Guild’s Board of Trustees, the Standards Committee and the Fair Committee. He is a member of the Piedmont Craft Guild of Winston Salem, the American Marquetry Society, The Marquetry Society (UK), and the Marquetarians of the Carolinas.


Jim’s marquetry has been exhibited in the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C, and in galleries and private collections throughout the US and Japan.