Who doesn’t love a charcuterie board full of delectable meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit and more at a party? But when the food is all gone, what better way to impress your guests than to leave behind a piece of art for all to see?
Artist and entrepreneur Parker Richardson designs and handcrafts custom live-edge charcuterie boards through her company, PR Decor. She interposes waves of color—customized to what her clients desire—in her designs. Her tailor-made creations are both beautiful and food safe, developed over a couple of years of experimentation. “I try to find semi-exotic, hard-to-find wood to make each board unique,” Richardson says. She crafts charcuterie boards using woods such as white oak, recycled antique heart pine, spalted pecan from native old-growth Southern trees, teak, black walnut, spalted maple, tropical padauk, olive, acacia and cedar. She makes both live-edge and finished-edge symmetrical options. Richardson adds detail by hand planing each piece of wood instead of using molds as a design shortcut. Her process enables her to add interesting colors and features that are specific to each of her customers while satisfying her artistic desire to work in a more visual methodology.
Her path to artistry and carpentry is familial. Her mother is an artist, and her grandfather is a carpenter, so she meshed the two careers into one. “I have been an artist since I could hold a pencil,” Richardson says. “I dabbled in different mediums and have been working with wood and epoxy for the last two years. It seems a natural fit for me.”
As the first entrepreneur in her family, she previously worked as a biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her time immersed in the study of plants and the environment cultivated a knowledge of trees and interesting ways their wood could be crafted into pieces that are both artful and functional.
Richardson’s interests lie in exploring new ways to work with raw materials—fine wood, epoxy, mica powder and gold leaf—to create statement pieces for her clients. Her latest experiment includes a wooden sliding barn door with integrated color for a unique look. “I tested the sustainability and durability of the door in my own house,” she says. “With two active children in my own home, I can make sure it will hold up well over time.” Because doors are such a large investment of time and warehouse space, she designs these pieces only on commission. She particularly enjoys designing custom wood and epoxy dining tables. “They are centerpieces for the dining room and a real statement,” she says. Clients can add a PR Decor piece to enhance their living spaces on an accelerated timeline. Richardson’s custom creations take as little as two to three days for a charcuterie board and up to two weeks for a table designed to specifications. Her production process includes photos and updates along the way as a client’s special piece is being created.
“Being a great artist and carpenter requires time, patience, attention to detail and quality materials. These ingredients go into every piece that I handcraft, so everything is original and built to stand the test of time,” Richardson says. “Each product I make is high-quality and durable. Every product is properly cured for more than 72 hours after the final coat of epoxy is applied, which allows each of my products to abide by the FDA’s guidelines of food safety consumption on epoxy surfaces.”
Shoppers can purchase other PR Decor finished products, including dining tables, stools, benches and coaster sets, at the Local Love gift shop on James Island or by calling Richardson to request a custom piece. The PR Decor website displays an array of ideas for homeowners who want to see visual examples to gather ideas to commission their own furniture or charcuterie board. PR Decor ships orders nationwide.
Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and art.