I moved to this forest in 1976 as a
carpenter, found people burning walnut trees for firewood, and thought I'd
died and gone to heaven. I sought to build an enterprise based on this undervalued
resource and began tailoring a lifestyle that had meager cash flow demands.
For years my livelihood as a carpenter
supplied my salary as land and home were paid for and family roughed in.
I made some hardwood objects, researched and practiced the skills threatened
with extinction tantamount to the success of my venture.
In 1988 I went public as a chairmaker
doing a paid demonstration at the local arts festival. I knew my market would
be distant and in 1991 broke out state-to-state artist markets in Wisconsin,
Minnesota, and elsewhere, and began planting seeds, so to speak.
By determination and reappearance with
consistently high quality product, enough seeds have born fruit to supply
what I consider now to be a carpenter's income.
This being the ultimate goal, my success
is measured by this achievement, with relative grace, on my own terms. Success
at this marks a personal triumph. I've broken out of the gauntlet of trades
work to expand skills of workmanship as an artisan. A refugee from the construction
industry, I am now ARTISAN AT LARGE.
Best of Show, Uptown Art Fair 2001
Second Place, St. Louis Art Fair 2000
Netti Hart Award, 57th Street Art Fair 2000