Beautiful, comfortable, and useful: these qualities I desire to be in the items I create. Creations that combine these characteristics will be used more, be more satisfying to use, be more pleasing to see, and be handed down to coming generations.
I get excited at the opportunity to design an item to fit a particular environment. To achieve this, I listen to what you want, whether it is a handmade piece of furniture, a fireplace mantel, a wood sculpture, or another custom-made piece. When I begin a commissioned piece, I weave together your tastes, style, needs, and unique interests into a one-of-a-kind piece. Through the design process, we will select one or more types of wood with appropriate grain patterns and colors to enhance the final form. We can add a pictorial theme and depth to your piece by including marquetry and carving.
After we have agreed on the design, I will create your piece. One of the aspects I love about working with wood is taking rough-sawn boards through the jointer and planer to reveal the rich colors and the vibrant textures that were hidden by the rough exterior. Through the use of both power and hand tools, I create a beautiful item to meet the unique needs and desires of its new owner. A rewarding challenge for me is the careful layout of the individual parts of the piece so that the grain and color from one member flows into the next member to create a cohesive whole.
By combining your interests and my skills, I can create an artistic work with quality and integrity that you will enjoy and be able to pass on to coming generations.
As an artist paints a picture using different pigments and with different brush strokes, so I, as a wood artist, employ the color and texture of the wood and the strokes of various techniques to create a work of art.
To accomplish this, I must see and understand the beauty and nature of wood. In laying out the wood for the piece, I make the figure of the grain flow so there is as much continuity as possible. I use the color of the wood or contrasting colors to highlight the design. Because wood contains such a depth and texture, I enjoy complimenting and displaying these characteristics so others can appreciate the wood’s beauty. In the sculpting process, I remove all the unnecessary wood to reveal the images and shapes that are desired. In constructing each unique piece, I strive for integrity of skill in my work that will stand the test of time.
The process of making a custom piece is enjoyable and creative. My aim is to listen to what you, the client, want so that I can make a beautiful piece that will meet your needs and your aesthetic values.
My rural heritage and perspective began when I was born on the family farm in south-west Iowa. After my family moved to the western plains of Kansas, my dominant memories are spending countless hours with my older brother at the workbench making wooden toys. My first entries to the 4-H fair were a simple tool box and a boot pull. When our family settled in Indiana, I continued in 4-H. My tenth year project was a walnut armoire made with local wood. Completing high school, I began working for a custom home builder. During this time I was mentored by several local craftsmen in furniture making, the art of marquetry, and cabinetmaking. I then began showing some of my work at the CCA Gallery in Zionsville, Indiana.
In 2004 an opportunity opened for me to use my skills to work with an historical carpenter in the Boston, Massachusetts where I refined my talents and learned many new skills. That same year I met and started studying under the master wood carver and teacher Dimitrios Klitsas. During the next five years I was mentored by Dimitrios who cultivated my skill and love for wood carving and sculpture.
In 2009, I moved to rural Indiana to be closer to family and to open my wood studio. I am now completing commissions and displaying my work in shows and galleries in the Midwest.