Against the Grain: Furniture Works of Art

Zach True Hammack is an Oklahoma artist whose upbringing centered on a family-owned lumber business in Oklahoma City called Arrowhead Lumber. Building on Hammack’s love for art and design, in addition to a passion for their family’s Native American heritage, he began Marking Tree Design gradually over three years.

A “marking tree” is a form of technology, like arrowheads, created by American Indians. The sapling of a tree is formed by tying down the top of the tree causing the tree trunk as it aged to grow horizontal instead of vertical. These trees were used to point to trails and water sources and would last as a part of the landscape for future generations guiding them to safe passage or water in unknown territory.

This use of nature, without misusing or causing harm, is a recurring theme throughout Native American folklore and is something reflected in Marking Tree Design’s work. Salvaging and reclaiming wood to use in furniture and through sales not only adds aesthetic value to Marking Tree’s products but also lends tradition and backstory to every piece that is created and sold.

The studio is located in the WesTen District (1615 North Portland) in Oklahoma City. Clients include both residential and commercial. Hammack’s work which include the guest services counter, benches and tables, are a permanent part of the Myriad Botanical Garden Visitor Center.

–Myriad Botanical Gardens, Spring 2019