Quite where I now fit in my own adventure towards artistry must be for others to determine. Suffice to say I regard it all as a continuum. It has already been quite a journey.
Growing up in a tiny rural village in Essex , England, you quickly learned to use your head and hands. Money was not something we ever had much of and if you could not make or fix something you simply went without. Watching my father make an enchanting ballerina musical jewellery box for my mother, mostly from wood scraps, left an indelible mark about just how powerful the heart can be in the craftsmanship process. This fascination with tools, wood, craftsmanship and artistry has only grown deeper with time and travel.
Fast forward a number of years and my workshop and home that I share with my wife and two cats is located in the small rural town of Whitingham, VT. My focus here is on handcrafted work using traditional tools and techniques. I strive to create unique carved pieces, commemorative presentation boxes, house signs, plaques, small accessory pieces and many things in between. Finding that special piece of natural wood or wood with special meaning or sentimental value and thoughtfully crafting it into a functional piece or art is all part of the journey.
Though very largely self taught, I have always believed in continuing education. In furtherance of that belief over the years I have participated in short workshops led by such master craftspeople as Janet Collins, Will Neptune, Chris Pye (England), Karen Wales, Dan Faia, Silas Kopf and Gene Shaw.
Since 2005 and ongoing to this day, I have been mentored by my great friend and Master Carver - Dimitrios Klitsas of Hampden, MA. Whilst in his studio, I had the great privilege of watching him design and execute the carving for an historic Steinway Piano - The Doheny Steinway. I captured that story in words and pictures and arranged for it to be published in the English "WOODCARVING" MAGAZINE. ..read the full article here... it's quite a story.
And finally, another quote that really encapsulates the simple joy of working in wood
“The Song of the Chisel - The History of a Nation is written in Stone and Wood, the poetry of the Chisel singing through the ages"....
...so wrote William Aumonier (1839 - 1914)
As my own journey of craftsmanship and artistry is written I continue to focus on carving. Working with highly tuned chisel and gouge so close to the material teaches a profound sensitivity, understanding and respect for wood in all its natural glory. It also simply makes me a better woodworker.
All calls, emails, comments, questions and inquires are welcomed. And, with advance notice, visits to the workshop are always welcome too.