My introduction to woodworking came in a middle school shop class where I pieced together a sling-back chair from a few lengths of White Pine (pinus strobus) and a dark green sheet of canvas. I quickly took to the craft and wondered what else I might like to make for myself. With a mind for frugality mixed with the old, Yankee mentality, of ‘I can do it better myself,’ I began turning rough lumber into usable goods (sometimes), teaching myself traditional techniques and honing my skills in what could most accurately be described as a hybrid of the Shaker and American Arts and Crafts styles, likely to compensate for a lack of tools and knowhow to create Victorian frills, compound curves, or any other details that consisted of something more complex than two rectangular parts joining perpendicularly.
While I appreciate the potential of purely artistic woodcraft, from a sculptural perspective, I am largely a utilitarian; basing most of my design on the principle of form follows function. I like pieces that last forever, whose accumulation of scratches and dents don’t devalue but rather point to a history of heavy, persistent use, and those creations that seemingly invite you to put a hand them and feel what is the culmination of a calculated design, skilled craftsmanship, and a tangible passion for all things arboreal.
Here are a few recent projects. Anything I've posted on this site is my own, unique design, built by me, from rough lumber. I’m fairly proud of this work and I hope you like it as well. All images are clickable and will bring up a high-resolution image. If you'd like to see more detail just use (crtl)+ or hold (crtl) and scroll up.
You'll find that I always include the Latin after a wood's common name. I've found that with so many conflicting common names, especially in exotic wood, the Latin is really the best way to clearly identify a wood.
I made this pair of canoe paddles for my brother Luke for his birthday in 2010. This was my first attempt at canoe paddles and during a field test on Grafton Pond, they performed beautifully. Starting from the center strip and moving outward, woods are as follows: Western Red Cedar (thuja plicata), White Spruce (picea glauca), African Mahogany (khaya anthotheca), Hard Maple (acer saccharum), Wenge (millettia laurentii), Black Cherry (prunus serotina), Padouk (pterocarpus soyauxii), Black Cherry, Wenge, and Hard Maple. At the tip are two thin strips of Padouk serving as a channel to hold epoxy for added strength and longevity.