True opportunities come around once in a lifetime. For me, it is working with my hands to create and build custom furniture crafted from locally sourced wood.
I grew up in a small farming community not far from where I live and work today. Since I was a small child, I have always been fascinated by how things go together and what makes things work – Lego blocks, log cabin construction, motors – anything that could be fabricated or was mechanical.
My first introduction to the art of woodworking came when I observed the cabinetmaker working on my family’s new home. I was hooked! Working with wood – particularly its inherent beauty and strength – captured my imagination in a way nothing else has. I began refinishing furniture for a few antique dealers in the area, and my reputation grew, ultimately encouraging me to start a studio focused on woodworking.
I am fascinated by the Arts & Crafts movement, especially the furniture pieces from that period. The simplicity and elegance of the design and the expression of the details in each finished piece caught my attention and have influenced my work considerably. A few years ago, while on holiday in Wisconsin, we visited the new Milwaukee Art Institute and were thrilled to find an exhibit on Arts & Crafts architecture, furniture, and decorative objects. It was a wonderful experience to see so many examples of what I have studied for so long.
My satisfaction comes from creating wood furniture that will become tomorrow’s heirloom.
- Kansas Dept of Commerece Merit Award for Small Manufacturing in 2009.
- Emporia Main Street Volunteer of the year in 2010.
- 3rd in Show at the Longview Art Festival in 2011.