I retired from a 30+ year career as a salmon biologist in January of 2008.
I started working with wood about 40 years ago; my first project was a small redwood deck for the mobile home I lived in during college. After launching my professional career, I built a number of large projects like sheds and decks. My first real project was my workbench, which I still use everyday in my shop; from there I progressed to a dovetailed cedar chest, and then couldn’t seem to stop. I was originally self-taught, then tutored by the local “cabinetmaker” here in town. I built the cabinets, oak entry door, bar, and trim for the home my wife Karen and I share. I built the 1600 square foot shop/studio that we spend our days in…Karen making jewelry and me making furniture.
I have been building furniture for about 20 years, initially as a hobby but professionally since my 2008 retirement/career change. As a retirement gift to myself, I spent several months living and studying, completing the Artisan program at British Columbia’s “Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking”. I follow the teachings and woodworking philosophies of master craftsman Jim Krenov, who lectured my class weekly, and IP School founder Robert van Norman a student of Krenov’s. I began designing my own pieces in 2008 when I made commercial displays for Karen’s’ jewelry creations. I have also recently taken specialized training in carved rocking chair construction; I think I may build and sell some seating pieces over the next several years. I get alot of joy from designing and building unique native wood fine furniture pieces in my own workshop.
I am a juried member of the Lithia Artisan’s Guild in Ashland, Oregon and show my work occasionally at their venues during the Shakespeare festival season. Sometimes I show and sell my work in Ashland Art Center Gallery; now it mostly depends on my inventory level and what Art Shows are in the “que”. Karen and I enjoy travelling to and participating in Art Shows during the spring, summer and holiday months.
I do several commission orders a year and enjoy making deliveries of custom pieces to those who appreciate my work. I very much enjoy the creative liberty afforded me by the business Karen and I share. I have never built a piece that has been in my inventory for more than a year. I have scaled-back my production to scale up the design complexity and focus on unique and challenging pieces ; I now build one to two dozen pieces of furniture and 6-8 dozen accessory pieces a year.
I love working with wood; recognizing its natural beauty and diversity of color, grain, character, and even its scent… I love the craft, especially the feel of hand tools making smooth, flowing shapes. I love my shop, the mountains, the rivers, the fish and birds – everything about our studio and work…..and the shows…I plan to keep doing this as long as I am able.
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