I enjoy wood – its smell, the warmth of its appearance, the feel of its surface, and the fact that its color and grain make each piece unique. Most of my pieces are non-representational forms using wood that has dried slowly over a period of years. I generally start with a rough log or flitch, usually from a tree cut locally, and attempt to transform it into something graceful and pleasing to the eye, while taking advantage of the wood’s natural form, coloring, and eccentricities such as knots or decay. The goal is a sculptural form that is appealing at a distance, and a level of craftsmanship and detail that is appealing close up.
I work primarily with hand tools, not because of an aversion to power tools, but simply because it is a quieter, cleaner, more peaceful way to work. The carving process itself is satisfying – cutting a long graceful curve, rotating an edge so it draws the eye around, disciplining a biomorphic form with a crisp edge, creating a subtle contour in a plane or an edge, finding another way to accentuate the rhythm or flow of a piece, or introducing a concavity to add a soft shadow and depth. Although each piece begins with a rough plan, the wood itself, coupled with chance, guides the process.