Artist Biography

Self-portrait

 

I was born in Akron, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Cuyahoga Falls.  I graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1966.  I attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, where I graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature, and then taught French for two years while doing graduate studies in English. In 1971 I received the Standard Oil Foundation award for outstanding teaching by a graduate student.

 

After University, I worked for several years as a carpenter in Denver, Colorado and Spartanburg, South Carolina.  While living in the West I explored many of our National Parks and Forests.  My friend, Art Firtion, and I climbed several mountains in Colorado that are over 14,000 feet in altitude.  In the summer of 1973 I participated in a week-long guide school at Mount Rainier in Washington which ended in a successful climb to the summit which is not only more than 14,000 feet high, but is glaciated as well.

Nancy and I visited Yosemite in 2009.  While I did climb Mt. Ranier, I did not climb El Capitan which is looming over my right shoulder.
I have enjoyed outdoor activities all my life.  Nancy and I visited Yosemite in 2009. While I did climb Mt. Rainier, I did not climb El Capitan which is looming over my right shoulder: we hiked up the back side of Half Dome which is in the back.

In 1974 I began working on the lathe.  My brother, Bill, and I established New Light Wood Works near Wake Forest, North Carolina in 1976.  I have concentrated on making bowls and other functional objects on the lathe as well as furniture that incorporates turned parts.

On July 14, 1979 I married Nancy Trovillion.  In 1982 our son, James, was born.

Nancy and James 001

Nancy is presently Deputy Director of the North Carolina Arts Council.  James (pictured on the Guitar Picker’s Stool in my first post) is a professional musician.

 

Shortly after we were married, Nancy and I began to build a timber frame house.  We designed it together.  I contracted out the brick and tile work, the rest was done by me with the help of my brother, Bill, and a group of friends who came to house raising parties where we would erect a new section of the frame that I had been working on.  We lived in a trailer on the site for two years and moved in before it was complete.  It was the most ambitious woodworking project I will probably ever undertake.

The house was framed with White Oak: 8 x 8 posts, beams, and rafters; 8 x 12 floor joists.
The house was framed with White Oak: 8 x 8 posts, beams, and rafters; 8 x 12 floor joists.

 

 

 

Rafter raising day.  The tall pole sticking up above the brick wall is the gin pole.  There's a pulley on top: a rope went over the pulley and to a tractor on the other side to pull the rafters up.
Rafter raising day. The tall pole sticking up above the brick wall is the gin pole. There’s a pulley on top: a rope went over the pulley and to a tractor on the other side to pull the rafters up.

House Construction 3 001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve added a few photos of the finished joinery on a separate page.

 

I have taught woodturning classes at Alamance Community College in Burlington, North Carolina since 1985 and at the Crafts Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1986.

We're talking about how to split this bolt to get the best bowl blank outside the classroom at ACC
We’re talking about how to split this bolt to get the best bowl blank outside the classroom at ACC. photo: David Parker

I have also been involved in promoting the arts in Wake Forest.  I served for more than 20 years on the board of Wake Forest Arts where our programs included Six Sundays in Spring,  the DuBois Mural and History Project, and the DuBois Jazz Festival.  I served on the committee that helped establish the Public Art Commission in Wake Forest, and have been a commissioner since its inception.  Our first project placed benches designed by Robert Tully on South White Street, the main street in the town”s business district.  We are now working with Chapel Hill artists Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii on a plan to incorporate art into the design of our extensive greenway system.

Here I am helping Robert Tully install his "Tree Bench" in downtown Wake Forest.
Here I am helping Robert Tully install his “Tree Bench” in downtown Wake Forest. photo: John Pelosi 

I currently show my work at the Little Art Gallery in Cameron Village in Raleigh, and at the North Carolina Museum of History gift shop.

My booth at the Crafts Center Fair in 2011
My booth at the NCSU Crafts Center Craft Fair in 2011
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Here it is in 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors are welcome at my shop near Wake Forest by appointment.  (See contacts page.)

This photo brings you up to date: August 4, 2017.  Here I am with Margaret Marie Wallace whose crib my son and I built this spring, a project I’ve documented here.

FullSizeR

 

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