About my work and myself
In Massachusetts, where I grew up, northern and central hardwood forest types intermix. This meant that where you stood on a hillside determined whether you were in a stand of maple – birch – beech or oak – hickory. Black cherry and walnut, two of North America’s finest hardwoods, were also there. And when I roamed those woods as a boy the area was still mostly undeveloped forest.
Wood and the forests it comes from have always had a strong influence on me. My dad is probably responsible for this- he frequently took my brother and I into the woods to hike, fish or hunt. Working with milled lumber fascinated me from an early age as well, and I was pounding nails into 2 x 4 scraps as soon as I was old enough to hold a hammer. After graduating high school I worked as a logger for a year and then paid for college by clearing house lots and selling firewood. Time spent in the woods aroused curiosities which led to a career studying the ecology of forest wildlife, and I am still a professional wildlife biologist. But I have always found a creative outlet in woodworking. And, although I no longer live there, tree species from my native New England are among my favorites to work with.
I make art from wood because wood and the forests that wood comes from have been integral in my life. I grew up in forests, have spent most of my career working in forests, and I return to forests for nourishment, inspiration, and recreation.
I gravitated to the lathe because I enjoy the free creative process; imagining a shape, searching out a log with the right color, grain and figure, sawing from it a blank, trimming at the band saw, mounting on the lathe... and starting the bewitching process of realizing (freeing, actually) the form that already lives within. Turning also causes me to explore myself while exploring the creative forms that can be found inside a log.
Through turning I exercise my appreciation for art and how it can influence people. Art can inspire and uplift, and it can carry your thoughts far from the day's cares. Cherished things provide comfort. I suppose I could turn bowls and keep them on a shelf or throw them into the woodstove (and several early ones went there). But I would like to be a part of this, to try my best to contribute something of beauty, and this is the reason for this site.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"