I started working with wood at an early age, encouraged by my father who taught me how to use and respect tools. My mother influenced me by loving and displaying everything I made, even those with not so satisfactory outcomes. In my late teens I started carving and making custom handles for my knife blades. In 1971 I took a night course on carving and have been carving ever since. Learning from talented carvers while participating in craft and art shows in the mid 70’s was enlightening.
I was further encouraged in college when my forestry professor at Sir Sandford Fleming College took an interest in my work and shared some large pieces of black walnut with me. When I started seasonal work after college, I filled my winters looking after sheep on a small farm when the farmer went south for two months. He also took interest in my work and gave me some very well seasoned maple. At the end of the winter I had sold three pieces. It felt good to see that other people appreciated my work.
There were years when work and family prevented me from carving very much, but I always came back to it. I work mostly in wood, but I have also worked in tree bark, bone, antler, walnut shell, pine rust galls, and Tagua nuts. I have also produced (and still do) some very fancy firewood. It is all part of the journey.
I like to work in found materials that can include pallet wood, discarded furniture, downed tree branches, bark, culled shrubs, tree roots, firewood and anything else I can scrounge. Friends and neighbours give me wood they think I can use. I always accept and appreciate their gifts.