I’ve always made things. I can't remember a time when I didn't make things. But I struggled when I was young, it was always hard for me. Until, in junior high school at the age of 11 or 12, I made a bowl from Honduras mahogany on a wood lathe. Thankfully, or maybe luckily, mahogany works easily. It was the first time I worked with wood where I had success, where I actually enjoyed it. I was immediately hooked. So what turned out to be one of my dad’s great parenting moments, he bought a wood lathe for me. Together we started buying small pieces of wood from around the world, and I found a hobby which became the direction I'd take in life. In a way, I began my life’s work in 1971.
My work now has evolved, changed, grown as is natural over time. These days my influences are the abstract paintings of living and past artists, sculpture big and small from various materials. Naturally occurring shapes, textures and colors from nature. Surprisingly, the work of other wood artists is not something I pay very much attention to. My influences are layered, combined and intertwined from very different and unrelated and non-woodworking sources. So when I create a piece, it starts from a place that didn’t exist when I started working with wood. The idea of pure craftsmanship where I started, where all my work began for years, is still there. It’s just not necessarily given much thought, it’s a given, it’s my default setting. A piece now starts from the goal of creating a beautiful and peaceful piece. Details that may be unexpected. Shapes, textures and colors that have a quiet confidence in their unpredictability. As a client said to me “I knew immediately when I saw this piece I had to have it, because I knew every time I walked into my house and looked at it I would smile.” There’s nothing I can add to that.
I think of my work as this…
take some hand tools and interesting pieces of wood and go at it. I work spontaneously, letting details develop and unfold as I proceed. I typically don’t always know exactly where a piece will go, often it’ll take a surprise turn along the way. Because planning too much for me can stifle the idea. I do have a purist's point of view and a very simple approach where I’m not concerned with the very newest and trendy tools. The tools I do have are well worn and work just fine and are definitely not the focus. I want to enjoy the journey, the process any way I can. I don’t always know when a piece is finished; sometimes they’re left to rest and revisited later. But in the end, I strive for the feeling that may not be defineable, but brings some joy, peace and happiness.