I originally met Carlos Gittens of Urbane Woodz at an arts and crafts bazaar held at the True Blue Bay Resort here in Grenada. As I moved throughout the scores of colorful creatives on the scene, Carlos’ woodcraft instantly commanded my attention. I was met with a variety of wood creations, in forms of seashell decor, cutlasses, cellphone cases, and geographically shaped clocks that wind around the Isle of Spice.
Upon meeting again with the artisanal talent, I set eyes on the gem of creations brought with him… a figure of praying hands, woven baskets, and a bundle of meticulously engraved egg shells– to name a few. His diversity of works is what struck me again. Carlos does not place his creations in a box, as he expressed, “I do not have to be limited to what is in my head.” He instead embodies an eager willingness to lean into any artistic novelty. Carlos approaches both his woodcraft and business with a refreshingly open view that any new customized request he is presented with, can always help him grow further.
When asked about artistic beginnings, he shared that it started before birth, generations prior. Born and raised in Guyana, he described both his grandfather and father as creators. Coming from his grandfather’s boat-building background and father’s early years woodcarving, those creative lines were passed onto him in what he described as the “interpretative principles” that would later contribute to his own artistry. As a child with a chisel— and an affinity for carving elephants— Carlos would assist his father in woodcraft. It was in these early years that he cultivated a defining skill for problem-solving. His father— a leading pastor in the Adventist Church of Grenada— taught him to always stay a step ahead, predicting what one needs before hearing the question. This same “interpretative” skill would later shape his college education, interests in robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as his artisanship and current profession in information technology.
Carlos will work with any type of wood, from trees and seas… mahogany to driftwood. He does not regulate himself to a style, only to faith, as he devotedly expressed to me his religion and family shaped his inspirational lens. By day, an Information Technology Professor at T.A. Marryshow Community College, and Urbane Woodz creator by night— Carlos has an approach to his craft that represents a versatile medium between abstract and concrete.
Urbane Woodz offers a unique portfolio that I believe is a traveler’s dream. Viewing Urbane Woodz works, it may appear the offerings are endless– items fitting into countless uses and decors. Whether it be a one-of-a-kind lampshade, or a Grenada landscaped puzzle perfectly fit for coffee table styling– Carlos Gittens’ creations show range can be boundless if one allows it to be.
- Visiting Grenada, you can be sure to spot Urbane Woodz pieces in various shops and establishments in town, St. Georges, Grenada
- Urbane Woodz Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UrbaneWoodz/.
- Urbane Woodz Telephone – +1 473-405-8058
UYC Contributor Carly King-Rushdan