As a human, I love spending time in the forest. As an artist, I want my work to not only originate from natural substances but appear as if it may return to the Earth at any given moment. With an eye on environmental sustainability, I primarily use local wood from naturally fell trees or found materials. Inspired by artists ranging from Georgia O'Keeffe to wood sculptor Grainger McKoy, I often embellish wood with milk paint, pyrography, or metal thus creating visual interest and texture through contrast and flair. With respect to woodwork as a craft, I cut and carve all my pieces by hand or with traditional tools.
After leaving a career in dentistry for more creative and authentic pursuits, I began practicing woodwork as a meditative hobby. It was only years later that I discovered my great-grandfather, who hailed from the Appalachian Mountains, was also a woodworker who encouraged the skill in my grandfather and, subsequently, my own father. His bare bones approach to whittling with a pocket knife created an interesting dichotomy when paired with a dental background where millimeters matter. The result is work that shows attention to detail while embracing the imperfect characteristics inherent in handmade items; a piece pretty enough to admire but still welcoming to the touch. I supplemented self-teaching with short mentorships and classes at Woodcraft. So what began with two-dimensional wood etchings eventually progressed to lathe-turned bowls, large wall hangings, jewelry, and utensils. I've showed and sold previous work at Gallery Twenty-Two, Culture Initiative, and The Cleveland County Arts Council. Originally an outlet for idle hands, woodwork has allowed me to utilize my education in a different way while developing patience, a respect for old-world methods, and an opportunity to take full advantage of the platform art provides for voicing my opinion on everything from social issues to wildlife refuge.