As far back as I can remember, the process of making has fascinated me. All sorts of objects, from scooters to chessmen, came out of the basement workshop prior to high school. An appreciation of fine art and classical music began in high school, but I never dreamed of making art. A degree from Iowa State in Industrial Education – industrial option – and work in manufacturing followed.
Concentrating on furniture and clocks, making things continued as an avocation after college. A few neighbors and I even built eleven fiberglass canoes one winter. In 1975, I obtained a copy of Dale Nish’s “Creative Woodturning”, which led to a near addiction with the subject. I resigned my day job in 1998 to create art full time.
The presence of order, repetition, efficiency, simplicity, and quality in my work are a reflection of my fascination with manufacturing processes. I also have sought to collaborate with gifted artists who are able to complement my desire to reflect our culture.
I owe the late Frank Sudol a debt of gratitude for his teachings and philosophies. They are evident in my work and my life. He made me comfortable with the idea of being an artist – something that was not easy for one with my background. Frank’s tutelage gave me permission to forge ahead and to experiment. That has resulted in the development of a number of new techniques, including both positive and negative images in patina on silver leaf. Most of these techniques have yet to be adopted by others, primarily due to their complexity, expense, and difficulty.
More recently, I have developed a second body of work based on very thin cylindrical turnings, usually pierced in complex designs.