Growing up in a family of carpenters (grandfather, father, uncle and brother all had respectable careers working in wood) I had a basic understanding of how to build things as well as an admiration of what can come from cutting and connecting pieces of wood. I pretty much always felt like I understood what should be done but when it came to actually doing the cutting and joining, I didn’t have a clue of where to start. Plus, I had (and maintain) a healthy fear of power tools. To get me over my fear, my husband gave me a woodworking class at the Indianapolis Art Center in 2003.
Being a “type A” person, I set my sights high for my first project: it was a mission style coffee table in quarter-sawn white oak. This project required learning many basic woodworking skills as well as a few more advanced techniques. It turned out better than I had imagined and I was hooked. The following class I made the end tables to match and over the course of the next five years of woodworking classes, I created several other furniture pieces for my home as well as many gifts for family and friends. None of my pieces were made with patterns or plans, just an idea and a lot of time in the well-equipped woodworking shop at the Indianapolis Arts Center.
In 2008, my husband and I relocated to Western North Carolina and I started work on creating a home-based woodworking studio. The original workshop was tiny with only a handful of my own tools. Over the years, I’ve acquired numerous machines and tools and now have a pleasant and efficient studio that fosters creativity.
Most of my inspiration comes from the richness in the wood. My work primarily combines American hardwoods with accents of exotic woods to create something functional yet artistic, typically for the kitchen. I love to cook and think handcrafted kitchen items add joy to the routine of cooking. Usually, I start out with a basic idea of what I’m going to make, but then I just let the grain, texture, color, smell (olive wood really smells like olives!) and how well it plays with other woods be my guide. I do not use any stains or chemicals preferring to emphasize the contrast of the natural colors and grains of the woods. My products are finished with a food safe oil and wax.
In 2014, I began to experiment with making wall clocks using the inlay dots that have prominently been featured in my other work. In late 2015, I extended my product line with similarly decorated framed mirrors. As always, there are no plans or patterns – I just let the wood guide me to create the various shapes and designs.