Originally from Eufaula, Alabama, Ralph Thomas earned a BS in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama. He served 24 years in the United States Army. After retiring from the Army, he obtained a BA in Special Education from the University of West Florida and taught special education and elementary education for 18 years in Escambia County, Florida.
He became interested in woodturning at an early age in his great-grandfather's workshop. He turned off and on for the next 40 years until he retired from school teaching and became a full-time woodturner. He is a member of the Artistic Woodturners of Pensacola, Florida, Pensacola Museum of Art, The Artel Gallery of Pensacola and Gulf Breeze Arts, Inc.
Ralph turns various forms and sizes of bowls, vases, hollow forms, and vessels with natural edges. Most of the woods are from Northwest Florida and South Alabama from trees that would otherwise end up in a fireplace, a wood chipper, or the landfill.
He currently participates in juried art festivals throughout the southeast.