9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Pinellas Park Beacon Facebook Twitter
A way with wood
Contractor builds homes by day, art at night
Article published on
  Print E-Mail
Kelly Pedrick Thomsen works in his studio on one of his live oak creations.
PINELLAS PARK – Kelly Pedrick Thomsen is a soft spoken, modest contractor who discovered a new niche in life as a wood artist.

“It’s something I really enjoy, that I’m very passionate about,” Thomsen said. “It’s all about self-gratification.”

Born in St. Petersburg, he has lived here since age 2. At 43 he boasts a rewarding career building new homes and refurbishing older ones. Virtually all his business comes from references and he never advertises.

With roots here and in the Sarasota area, Thomsen designed and built his spacious home on 76th Street. It’s filled with his live oak wood art.

An avid outdoorsman and camper, his work has already been presented at three local shows.

“The wood is dug from the sand at Horse Creek near Arcadia,” Thomsen said. “It’s nature, not I, that creates the unusual shapes.”

A cousin, Scott Proffit, who is a trained marine biologist turned Sarasota bookshop owner, believes the wood dates back a century or more. It’s dried for about three months. A sideyard is filled with tangled limbs in various stages of preservation.

“The dark color comes naturally from the tannic acid of the river water and sand,” Thomsen said. “The acid is created by decaying leaves and other foliage.”

Thomsen gathers his booty by walking in the water and dragging a rowboat. He often finds the fossilized remains of mastodons, mammoths and other creatures that once roamed the earth.

He uses small tools, chainsaws, electric sanders and tedious hand-sanding to mold the wood into dolphins, sharks and other shapes. His first project, a bird, is about a foot high and decorates a table next to a much larger sculpture. He finishes each piece with oil and uses WD40 to keep it glistening.

“One’s imagination describes what a particular piece might be,” he said.

One resembles a shark from one angle, a dolphin from another and another kind of fish from a third angle.

“It takes one to three days to complete a project,” Thomsen said. “I did a sting ray project that took 10 days.”

Thomsen’s work was recently showcased at a St. Petersburg art show. His goal is to retire as a wood artist, though he still wants to keep a hand in home building.

“I don’t do it for the money,” Thomsen said. “I do it because it’s rewarding and it allows me to be creative.”
Article published on
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
Featured Print Advertisers
Tarpon Springs Recreation Division
2017 Sunset Beach Concert Series
Web site        View Ad
Custom Couture of Tarpon Springs
208 East Tarpon Ave.
Tarpon Springs
(727) 238-7194

Web site        View Ad
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
Flooring America
9012 Seminole Blvd., Seminole
(727) 397-5509
100 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
(727) 733-1356

Web site        View Ad
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
Online Services Directory
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News