Tell us about your project
I create useable art with leather, wood, paper, fabric, etc. I often use leather as my canvas, cutting, carving, tooling, and moulding it into the detailed drawings and landscapes I sketch during my design process. I love to incorporate wood of various species into my pieces, for the warmth and richness it provides. I often combine techniques usually used in bookbinding and embroidering to add detailed embellishments with leather cord, leather lace, linen threads, and even jute or other cordage. When I am creating outside of the confines of a client’s needs, I love to make found object sculptures that often turn into a source of light. These pieces can be refined or rustic and tend to marry all elements of my repertoire. My two latest sculptural lamps combine a broad variety of materials including copper wire, antique farming equipment, antique pulleys, cork fabric, cherry wood, driftwood, Brazilian cow hide, the dried “skeleton” of a bush that was too gnarly and beautiful to burn, leather cording, brass, and jute rope.
What will you use the funds for?
I desperately need to outfit my shop with newer equipment. The table saw I currently use is almost fifty years old. The bandsaw is the same age. The jointer, even older. While valid arguments can and should be made for refurbishing and using older machinery, there is also a time to recognize when it’s better to find a newer version for the difference in power, safety, and accuracy. All of the heavy-duty shop equipment I use was my father’s. It has been a blessing and privilege to have access to his shop for so many years to do the things I love. I lost him to Covid in 2021, and have been able to process through my grief while woodworking, as I feel closest to him when I am in the shop. However, the accuracy and safety of the tools are lacking at best. My projects take me many times longer than they should to complete because of the constant fiddling and tweaking I have to do before and during every build. A significant amount of material tends to be wasted from blades drifting out of square and motors bogging down under minimal loads, which makes for a long and frustrating work day. I am so excited to start shopping!
What inspires you to create art?
Inspiration doesn’t seem to come from one particular source for me. I have this overwhelming, tangible feeling inside which drives me to create, pushes me to dig deeper inside myself, and always learn new techniques. I typically have a project or ten rattling around in my head. When the time and place present themselves for making art, it starts pouring out and coming to fruition. I might find and object in nature or maybe at a yard sale and the whole creative process floods me with images and emotions and I just cannot wait to get home and start throwing down sketches. However, there are times an object will sit around for years waiting for me to bring myself to create with/around it. It simply has to be the right time in my life. Once that time comes and I am able see the finished piece in my head, it just happens.
What’s your message to the community?
I am honored and thrilled to have been chosen to receive a grant from Ginny, Terry, and the Odd Pieces crew. They are so inspiring through their generosity and support of artists and also through their perseverance in producing such cool products during the pandemic. Thank you for the opportunity you guys have provided. I also want to say thank you to anyone who supports artists, whether monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise. It is an incredibly difficult field to maintain any sort of financial stability. When sales aren’t happening, self-doubt creeps in. Artists need validation that the world is a more beautiful place because we create in it. I love that there are people like Ginny and Terry who recognize this and give an artist like myself a platform to show what I can do. The ball will keep rolling, too, because my son and daughters see this support and feel encouraged to pursue their own dreams.