Artist David Daniels is all about taking it local. As an artist working out of a 400 square foot shop behind his home in Visalia, California, David builds one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and hardwood cutting boards with locally sourced woods from the Central Valley, the agricultural hub of California, usually salvaged from orchard removals where trees would otherwise be burned or turned to mulch. His cutting boards are made of sustainably sourced domestic and exotic hardwoods arranged as functional works of art. As an artist who seeks out local products, we asked him about other local businesses he recommends.

Q:  How long have you lived in Visalia? Where are you from originally?

 I grew up in Visalia, left after college and returned ten years later after living in different places around the country. I’ve been back home since 2015.


Q:  Describe your woodworking art and what inspires you?

At Absolution Woodworks, my work is foremost inspired by a commitment to quality. I source a variety of domestic and exotic hardwoods for laminated mosaics and meticulously build each piece. Despite their functionality as cutting boards, varied texture and tones hint at landscapes or motion. The owners of my work choose the end purpose of a piece, whether it’s used or displayed. My brand is not just about me or my materials but also the process and what I wish to achieve with my work.


Q:  What other local ‘makers’ are you impressed with?

 I am a huge fan of the glasswork of Chelsea Brewer and Brewer and Marr Glassworks, with whom I frequently collaborate. I love the print work of Jessica Robles and the large-scale works of Amy Rangel.


Q:  Where do you take out of town visitors to share the local art scene?

You’ll have to attend a First Friday Art Walk, hosted by the Arts Consortium, where downtown businesses and galleries show new work from local and national artists. (During COVID, First Friday is a virtual tour.) Arts Visalia is the premier art gallery in town and puts on some incredible shows. Also be sure to check out the Lumberyard on Oak Street where the Urbanists have decorated walls with murals featuring nationally renowned street artists. If you visit in October, go to the Taste the Arts Festival for the best showing of all our local artists and makers.


Q:  Do you have a favorite restaurant?

If you’re cruising around town look for local taco truck Mathilda’s Tacos and order their burrito campechano.

Q:  Any hidden gems you’d like to share?

 The local strawberries in late spring are unlike anything in the world. A truly unique, local, Visalia experience. Do not miss them.


Q:  How would your Visalia dream day/ weekend unfold?

Visit in the Spring to enjoy the insanely beautiful weather and blooming wildflowers and fruit trees. Stop by the Visalia Farmers Market on Saturday morning, grab some fresh produce and a beautiful cutting board from Absolution Woodworks or another local artisan. Then, participate in the South Valley Art Tour, visiting the open studios of the Valley’s artists, seeing their space and learning about their craft. Stretch your legs with a short walk at the Kaweah Oaks Preserve and perhaps have a picnic lunch. From there, head downtown and walk Main Street, enjoying the local boutiques, eateries and shops. Take a break at Component Coffee Lab and refuel with a gourmet donut and espresso tonic. Grab a beer at Kaweah Brewing Company before finding a local taco truck. Order a burrito, ask for their hottest salsa and enjoy it on the curb. Catch a live show at the Cellar Door hosted by the Sound and Vision Foundation; hopefully it’s The English Beat. Crash at the Darling Hotel.

Arts Consortium
Visalia Farmers Market
Local Fruit Stands
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112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
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