I love wood. It’s a medium whereeach piece offers such a largevariety of creative possibilities.Wood inspires me. I look at barkor grain and see images of faces,of expressions. Wood also givesme an ongoing connection to theoutdoors, and I feel the pieces I create somehow give back tothe natural world.Working with wood is satisfying.I love the process: sketch anddesign a piece; select the wood;carve it; then hand-paint andhand-finish the piece. In a worldof manufactured goods, it feelsright to be able to make something by hand. When I’m carving,I don’t use power tools — they’retoo fast, too imprecise, too loud.I use hand tools and simplematerials, and my finished piecesreflect that simplicity.

A local Door County wood carver taught me to carve in 1998. I was instantly hooked, and
now I enjoy carving a variety of subjects, including Santas and snowmen, country characters,gnomes and wood spirits. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind original made of butternut orbasswood harvested in Wisconsin.

I paint the carvings in multiple layers of oil or acrylic paint washes, providing a rich, antique-like appearance. I then coat each piece with either a clear lacquer or a satin wax finish,resulting in a treasure that will last a lifetime.

In addition to managing Rustic Road Studio, I’m the assistant director at The Clearing, a
folk school in Ellison Bay where I teach classes for beginner and intermediate wood carvers.