Collecting and shaping various types of materials has been my creative outlet since very early on. As a boy of ten, combing the beach in front of the family home in New England, I made use of the Grand Banks’ gift of driftwood and other dross for my first projects. I found artistic drawing skills handy to win whatever junior art contests happen to come along, or to submit mechanical drawings to the US Patent office at age 14 for devices I felt could benefit the handicapped. As a self-starter, i applied myself to contract repairs to residential woodwork, antiques, and boat repair around my home town. I used this experience, following high school, to sign on with a team engaged in the restoration of landmark homes in Newport, RI, some over three centuries old, requiring exact replication of furnishings and carved details and finishes. These early years include ties with boating, specifically sailing, which essentially meant volunteering time for the upkeep of classic, wooden yachts for the opportunity to crew.
Later, in California I became assistant to both New Zealand and Australian-born boat builders for some years, and then with a German-born master artisan. From there, more apprenticeships in shops ranging from Big Sur to far away Australia, and then Niigata, Japan, where I was invited by an acquaintance to participate in the construction of a traditional Japanese timber frame house. Her father happened to be a maker of tansu (ceremonial cabinets), and shoji (room dividers), who kindly allowed me to observe the ancient craft. My workshop in Miami has been busy since 1987 designing and crafting woodwork for many satisfied clients. I continue to hone my techniques and in 2001 spent time in Rome, Italy with members of the Guild of Artisans at Via di Coronardi, reputed to be the best furniture refinish and restorers in the world.
I have devoted myself to perfecting my art by studying under these and other artisans. Today, I owe thanks to the many customers who have allowed the opportunity to practice this trade and trusted me with many commissions. My training allows for unlimited possibilities in design, and I have collected and made an assortment of tools that enable me to fabricate everything from intricate joinery to large free-form sculpture. When a new customer calls me, I can interpret the ideas into a design that meets the budget. To accommodate LEEDS projects, I have gathered as much local hardwood from fallen trees as it became available rather than see that wood sent to a landfill. If you have some thoughts on a woodworking project or need advice on choosing the best wood for your purposes, please call the workshop to schedule a consultation, or simply send an email from the form below with your ideas.