A very short Bio



Me


I've been a Mathematics and Science teacher for 28 years both here in the U.S. as well as in three other countries. I have traveled by every possible means of transport.  I live now in a quiet spot in the northwest Berkshires where I have my shop. It is at the end of a long dirt road and the five seasons here are  superlative (don't forget mud). My interests are eclectic and if I had five lifetimes I would not ever be bored exploring the fascinating natural world. I love dogs too. My parents were born and raised in Ireland and I inherited all that is wonderful about being Irish and a bit of the blarney too.
 
The study of furniture making is a very deep well and learning from as many sources as possible helps to be well rounded. I have been a member of SAPFM (The Society of American Period Furniture Makers) and enjoy learning conservation and restoration techniques from their activities as well as studying with people such as Don Williams, Senior Conservator with The Smithsonian and others. Over the years I have developed a love of both making new period furniture as well as bringing old pieces back to their functional and esthetic charm. Both Federal and Shaker style are my lasting favorites. In the Federal style, veneer, banding and stringing add a real ‘pop’ to a piece, with crisp lines and delicate accents. Shaker style is where I find real appreciation for the designer in his sense of simplistic functionality and grace of ‘less is more’ thinking. I have had the opportunity to learn from masters such as Will Neptune, Steve Latta, Bob Van Dyke, Mickey Callahan, Phil Lowe, Alf Sharp, Mario Rodriguez, and many more. This on-going learning allows for new ideas, methods and skills.

In this progression I have been intrigued by the structural beauty and the historical methods applied by builders to create fine furniture of their time. The materials and methods used and how we might today take care of these examples of craftsmanship which are a part of our heritage and of great value to our families, is a great challenge and joy.  It is with this sense of value I approach furniture making and conservation. Nothing made by the hand is perfect but instead reflects the spirit of who crafted it. Every piece has a story. I love to discover the hidden and not so hidden histories of a family treasure. Deciding with the owner, through discussion, what the use it holds and place it serves in the home and from that perspective decide what steps need to be taken to allow it to continue in that role.

I run a one man shop in the northern Berkshires of western Massachusetts. My home and shop are heated by wood from our land. I have built a number of pieces of furniture from trees I felled not far from the shop. It never seems to stop amazing me what a gift wood is.


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