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tex tux.jpg


I got started on this work in an art class at Dartmouth College.  It was there that I took several classes with Prof. Peter Robbie.  In the fall term of 1980 he had his students choose an object that normally wouldn't be made of wood, and then had us try to carve it out of wood as "realistically" as possible.  I found an old leather bag and a tuxedo, stuffed the tux most of the way into the bag, and voilà, I had my piece.

After college I worked at an architecture firm in San Francisco for a year and determined that I did not want to be an architect.  In 1982, I went to Florida and have been here since.


Indeed, why do this for a living?  In retrospect (and I mean that, in the sense that I hadn't figured it out until just a few years ago), it probably goes back to my youth and the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" along with the Olympics.  I was fascinated with both.  In the movie, the male lead, Caracticus Potts, invented all sorts of things.  Some didn't work well, but a few, like the flying/floating car, were simply amazing!  I, probably like every other kid in the world, always wanted to do something that people might describe as "amazing".  


As for the Olympics?  The whole idea of having one person being able to call themself "Best in the World" at one particular event or skill was a fantastic concept.  I loved to watch the Olympics!  While I was probably above average at a number of athletic activities, it was fairly clear that I was not Olympic "material".  However, several years later I carved my first wood quilt, and inadvertently became "Best in the World" at something!  I didn't know it at the time.  It was before the internet, so checking out what other people were doing (and how well they were doing it) was more or less an impossible task.  Looking back, I think my subconscious, Olympic aspirations may have pushed me into this career.  Of course, if you're the only person doing something (which I later discovered), it's hard not to be the best at it!  This is why I always say, "If you find you're the only person in the world that does what you do,...there might be a really good reason for that!"


My subject matter is drawn from things that we tend to save, or even cherish, long after they are no longer useful; an old jacket that may not fit anymore, but we still keep it in the back of the closet, quilts, farmer’s hats, and other items we might want to keep simply for the memories they hold.

I think the best art is something you didn’t expect to see, or hear, or taste, or smell. The best stories are the ones you haven’t heard before. With my work I use context to give a sense that something is slightly amiss. To some extent, an interesting element of the work itself is where it’s hung. The viewer will usually think, “That’s an interesting jacket... but why is it hanging on the dining room wall?”  In some respects, it's like a magic trick.

I don't use models for my works except to get the major features.  I invent all of the details.

In my quilts I use contrasting colors and shading to try to create some sort of visual energy. It sometimes isn’t used throughout an entire piece and in some cases, where I’m looking for a subdued tone, barely at all.


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