Since I work with trees, allow me to draw the following analogy: I've always tried to get to the root of things.
I studied Liberal Arts at St. John's College, Annapolis, home of the Great Books program. At St. John's, I learned how to ask questions in order to move toward first principles, and the program made me choose, in an authentic way, which principles to pursue—truth, meaning, the Good.
After graduating, I spent two years at the Marchutz School of Art in Aix–en–Provence, France. It's there that I developed a sense for form—that thing that radiates from inside, making something feel whole and complete. The architecture of a stone monastery, a painting by Cézanne, a worn, rustic table in a cafe—these things became more vivid and real the deeper I looked.
And then it was back to the States and back to the books—this time books about woodworking. I read voraciously, practiced at night, and found my way forward.
I've spent time apprenticing with a master cabinetmaker in Annapolis, Maryland, who taught me not only about the properties of wood and how to shape it, but how to do so with a calm, focused mind. I've also had the honor of training with a respected furniture maker in Northern Virginia.
All of these pursuits—and the one I find myself in now—are about becoming deeply sensitive to the world around me, feeling both the presence of what lies before me as well as my own state of being in front of it. Craft, therefore, is for me a means of exploring who I am and who we are as humans. It is in this spirit that I make things out of wood, in the hope that I can reach a deeper truth that can be seen by anyone who cares to look.