Even as a young boy, Bruce knew that he wanted to be involved in a profession where he could work with his hands. This desire grew into creating art when he attended Towson State University as a fine art student. His sculpture professor encouraged him to work in wood and allowed him to design and fabricate Studio Art furniture, which was pushing the envelope for a student who knew nothing about joiners, planers, and table saws.
Bruce’s art, design, and furniture influences at that time was the sculpture stack laminate work of the “Studio Furniture Artists” Wendel Castle and Jack Rodger Hopkins. Other influencing artists included Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Piet Mondrian, Joseph Albers, the book entitled “The Soul of the Tree” by George Nakashima gave him the respect as a woodworker to consider using all aspects of the tree’s gift of the wood. The teachings of Joseph Albers and color theory allowed him to think about the idea of painting with wood.
After graduating with honors in art, Bruce worked in Maryland and Massachusetts as a cabinetmaker and carpenter. An antique dealer saw the caliber of his work and asked if he could help him make display cases for his nautical dioramas along with assistance in restoring antique furniture. This opportunity initially propelled Bruce into the world of furniture restoration, which then manifested itself into the field of wooden artifacts conservation and historic furniture scholarship, earning a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation in 1993.
Bruce has had the pleasure of conserving furniture and related wooden artifacts for major museums, government institutions, and private collectors for nearly 30 years. He has taught and lectured on the history, connoisseurship, and conservation of furniture on the collegiate level.