While watching the sun set
forested mountains, I try to experience the moment fully. Letting my thoughts
fill with the unique beauty after a day of collecting, I endeavor to bring these
inspiring memories home. For as long as I can
remember, I have had a passion for nature. My university studies in art and
ecology only deepened my connection with, and reverence for, this beautiful
planet. Through the pieces I create as an artist, I strive to reveal this
insight, and give others that same sense of wonderment.
The years following college felt somehow
unfulfilled. Though I found twenty-five years in solar energy (wind-electric
turbines), and custom home construction interesting, I sought out as many hours
as I could for relief carving. During this period I was hired by the
California State Architect to carve forty-eight corbels for the Hearst Castle in
San Simeon, California. One day after work, sitting atop a coastal peak, I
thought about my future. An imaginary line connecting the moments of joy in my
life seemed always to match up with the times when I was artistically inspired.
The life I sought laid on that line, and it revealed a gratifying path.
Soon after that decision, while exploring the
deep forests of the Northwest, I came across a rare form of Ponderosa Pine, nick
named Millennium. I saw in these trees the perfect medium for expressing my
artistic goals. Leaving relief carving behind, I began to sculpt. The themes
became organic abstract, and after two years honing my technique working this
difficult medium, I began exhibiting sculpture in 1996.
Every few years, I put together a collecting
expedition to the Northwest, and then return to my home on the Central Coast of
In this way, my creative process truly begins in the forest where I personally
collect each piece of wood―an ancient form of Krummholz Ponderosa Pine.
Upon sculpting through the often hundred years to an inch ring pattern, I expose
the tree's thousand year history.
The finished sculpture looks naturally
formed, but a closer look will reveal where I
have merged artistic composition and the elegant symmetries found in the twisted
patterns of the wood.
Since a tree's ring pattern is only exposed by sculpting, you can follow where I
have followed grain and color. And because I integrate the unique forms in each
piece of wood, every sculpture is truly one-of-a-kind.
During the sculpting
process I heat-treat the unfinished sculpture, ensuring eradication of
any incidental pests. In
some cases, molds are taken from the more interesting shapes, and resin
prototypes constructed for casting in metal. It can take hundreds of hours to
perfect a medium-sized sculpture, and my production is limited to only a handful
of finished pieces each year.