Art & Photography

Welcome to my portfolio of woodworking and furniture design, theatrical set design, digital and film photography, and small-gauge films. Also featuring my paintings and drawings, and the public art installations and murals completed while working with children in the field of early arts education. It includes a wide variety of my creative projects, completed and proposed, and attempts to link them all together under the somewhat vague banner of Art & Photography. I’ve spent a lifetime building an independent enterprise that relies on my inner life and creativity as its main driving force, and while it hasn’t always been a linear journey or an easy lift, I still have complete faith in the remarkable transformative power of a creative life powered by a free imagination.

Of course, you have find a way to live in the practical world of family and children and a meaningful everyday life, and for me that was my furniture design and woodworking business, which I’ve operated out of my home studio for the last thirty years. It helped provide our family with the stability of an intimate home life, and the freedom to pursue some of the life-skills that were so vitally important to previous generations, but seem curiously absent from the modern experience. The workshop is the ultimate teacher and guide to self-reliance, and the skills learned there transfer across every aspect of life, so we tried to live simply and provide for ourselves as much as possible. Traditional Arts & Crafts like woodworking have a deep cultural reach in America, and the skills and ethics learned by that honest work exemplify Emerson’s ideal of a virtuous agrarian society shepherded by skilled journeymen.

I’ve always tried to have the same approach to my woodworking business, but the two worlds of art and commerce often collide and the modern economy almost always dominates. There are precious few incentives to carry on with the cultural traditions and the proven formula of quality and authenticity, and an overabundance of emphasis on the ease and speed of production, especially cutting costs, for producers. So the first things to go are quality materials, skilled technique, and the status and quality of life for craftspeople. The old universal life-skills that almost every working person possessed at one time, and the philosophy behind them, began to fade into history as the pursuit of economic advantage and materialism took over. And now, as my life transitions into something new and the workshop will soon be closed, I think the most difficult part for me is losing that sense of identity and inclusion that was shared with my fathers and grandfathers. But you have to be hopeful that the seeds of self-reliance and independence will take root in the hearts of your children, because they’re the ones who must take responsibility for the mistakes of the people who came before them.