Wood is where it all started, the first material that I cut and assembled into something. From the very start the tools felt right in my hands, and the measurements, even when rough framing a house, were very important for me to be accurate. I consider wood to have a soul of its own, after all it is the very fiber of what once was a living thing. I like to think that I am treating the wood with some sort of dignity by adding good design, whether one of my own, or that of a colleague. By design I don't just mean aesthetics, but method as well.
I didn't even take wood shop in high school, I was found soaking up all the info I could in the auto shop and the metal shop. My first passion was for cars, and it was, and continues to be, more of an obsession, then something that I am just passionate about. I left metal working after high school and became a carpenter. It wasn't until my employment at the George P. Johnson Company did I find myself back in a metal shop and I really enjoyed the diversity it brought to my work. There is something about the process of metal fabrication that is very intriguing, and metal is another material that is full of it’s own rich beauty.
I decided to do a major restoration of a 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. It was little more than a rusty piece of vintage American muscle, most would have said it belonged in a junkyard. I saw it as a way to challenge my skills and a good excuse to buy a welder and some metal cutting tools. As I went through the process of replacing rust with metal on the Plymouth I began to think about how the welder could add some serious dimension to what I could offer my clientele.
My mind began to fill with new ideas that had every bit as much to do with the use of metal as they did wood.
I have always been one who is not afraid to try something that I've never done before, in fact I thrive on it! Many years ago I was doing a kitchen remodel when the homeowner let me know that she had read about pre-cast concrete countertops in a magazine, and that she was very interested in them. She asked if I could do them for her, because I had never even heard of them before i asked her to let me do a little research. I was instantly hooked and told her that I would love to give it try. I enjoy the process very much and the frequency that I am asked to work in concrete increased over the years. Concrete done properly has a very organic look, and feel to it. It is limitless in shape, color and texture and is certainly not limited to use for countertops.
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