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Orig­i­nally from Los Angeles, I worked for over twenty years as a graphic designer in the D.C. area before decid­ing to switch careers on my 45th birth­day to make studio furni­ture full­time. My style is a cross between Mid Century Modern and Arts and Crafts because I love the natural simplic­ity of and clean lines these styles bring to my pieces. I am largely self-taught, though I have taken classes at the Corco­ran and the North Bennet Street School. In design­ing these pieces, I start with pencil sketches of what I am hoping to achieve and then turn to 3D model­ing programs to refine the joinery and scale. Of course, no plan survives first contact with the enemy and in wood­work­ing, some­times the enemy is the wood itself, which does not always behave in predictable ways. Most people do not realize that wood furni­ture is still a living breath­ing thing even once the tree is cut down, the wood kiln dried, and the boards milled to thick­ness, reshaped, glued and varnished into a chair. The furni­ture will expand and contract with the seasonal move­ment and solid joinery design is a must for the piece to survive.

My inspi­ra­tion comes from a wide variety of sources, but often stems from an attempt to solve a specific design or construc­tion problem. The I Cannot Tell A Lie” table is a perfect example. The table started life as a proto­type for another, as yet unbuilt, table which will use a piece of Osage Orange wood that was cut from the grounds of Capitol Hill during the visitor center expan­sion. I had been think­ing about using books as part of the base. Not wanting to use my one precious piece of wood until I had the design fully devel­oped and had figured out how to incor­po­rate books into a stable piece of useable furni­ture, I instead started with a piece of live edged cherry wood. The cherry wood prompted me to think about the apoc­ryphal story of George Wash­ing­ton as a small boy chop­ping down his father’s prize cherry tree with the child-sized ax and announc­ing, I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the tree”. This in turn led me to think about the ways that truth” in rela­tion to polit­i­cal figures is always a some­what malleable concept – one that requires us to have an evolv­ing under­stand­ing of histor­i­cal lives as our society contin­ues to develop. In Washington’s case, that requires us to see him both as our most highly cele­brated found­ing father, whose noble deci­sion to step down from power at the end of his second term gave us the gift of a func­tional democ­racy with a peace­ful tran­si­tion of power, and, also, at the same time, as someone who owned other human beings and prof­ited from slavery. This ugly yet funda­men­tal truth forms the base for the pedestal of books holding up one end of the table while the ash wood shelf (ash is used for axe handles), and the hand forged axe head tusk tenons allude to the lie” of the mythol­ogy around this great man. Working to ensure that the books could be phys­i­cally stable enough to support a func­tional table, presented other tech­ni­cal chal­lenges and required careful exper­i­men­ta­tion with the form and the structure.

Great falls, VA
Wood, metal
Professional Status
Furniture maker
Member until May 27, 2024