Mark Mallia started his career in woodworking in 1976 , apprenticing at Ormiston’s Custom Furniture in Houston and Woodwork Station in Austin, where he first discovered the art of parquet.
1978 saw his first forays into selling his own work, at the venerable Renaissance Market, a street by the university in Austin where budding artists and craftsmen set up to sell their wares. In these days setups were little more than folding tables and beach umbrellas. Although he experimented making a number of items, he soon began to specialize in boxes made with distinctive parquet tops, later adding raised panel and “trim top” varieties.
In 1979 Mark begin appearing at Arts and Crafts shows, the Pecan Street Festival in Austin and the Westheimer Festival in Houston.
In the following years, Mark developed his skills as a craftsman and became known for his technical precision. The boxes became larger and more varied, and he developed specialized boxes for different use jewelry, cigars. pens , watches, end table and coffee table displays. Pyramids, pen and pencil boxes, and later hand mirrors were added.
One thing has remained the same over the years, a love of the natural colors that nature provides. Mark uses a large variety of woods, but never any stain, preferring clear, hand rubbed finishes. This ensures that any box he creates will become a treasured family heirloom for future generations.