I’m a woodworker living in the Appalachian town of Berea, KY. My efforts are directed towards Berea College, where I work as the Head of the Woodcraft Program within the Craft Department and as the Head of The Woodworking School at Pine Croft. The roles are primarily focused on training and working alongside others: adults at the Pine Croft Woodschool, and college students in the Woodcraft program. Along with the work for the college, I build furniture, teach workshops, and am starting to write more frequently.
My initial experiences with woodworking happened in my grandfather’s woodshops. Grandpa Larry was the last town milkman of Ashland, OH. I loved working in his small basement shop with him on Saturday mornings, making CD boxes and pinewood derby cars. Grandpa George was a farmer who lived just outside of Ashland on a 150 acre farm. His wood and metal shop was used to care for the property, be it cherry cabinets for the Victorian farmhouse and fabricating a new bumper for the farm truck. I also greatly benefited from my childhood neighbor’s kindness – a skilled carpenter and friend, who taught me and allowed me access to his shop day and night. I made a few truely grotesque furniture pieces in his workshop during high school – a combination of pocket screws, gallons of glue, and high gloss poly. It was in his space that I realized that I loved building furniture.
My formal training happened at the North Bennet Street School (NBSS) in Boston, MA. I owe a debt of gratitude to the teaching and advice of the staff at NBSS, especially Dan Faia and President Miguel Gomez-Ibanez. After completing the cabinet and furniture program in 2008, I worked as the caretaker of NBSS for about five years while building private commissions, working part-time at a repair and refinish shop, and teaching workshops at the school. A growing family and the lure of the Maine coast took us up to Lincolnville, ME in 2013. Upon moving north, I initially worked as a shipyard carpenter at a boatyard in Belfast, ME for a short period before three+ years as a cabinet maker with a company in Rockport, ME.
I have worked within Woodcraft at Berea College since the summer of 2017. The Woodworking School at Pine Croft began in spring 2019.