I earned a degree in Fine Art (sculpture) from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.There I learned many disciplines that were to become useful both then and later in life. Dublin was voted the European culture Capital the year I began and it was an exciting environment to learn in. However, the Art world of the day was in the grip of 'Conceptual-Minimalism' meaning that to me the Art World had lost its way.One of the most important things that I learnt was that following the flock was not always the road to personal achievement or creative satisfaction. I became the only student of the college's only traditional wood carver. Under his tutelage I began creating a mixture of modern and traditional wood and metal sculptures that were less about mental exercises (conceptualism) and more about nourishing the soul.
I exhibited at galleries and Art-spaces throughout the city.Involved in the Autonomous Arts Space I helped to convert empty buildings into exhibition spaces and Art workshops. This cemented my opinion that Artists should trust their instincts and be true to themselves.
I then travelled the UK, Europe and the US making a living as an Artist, jewelry- maker, street painter and a musician.Learning skills along the way I settled into life as a travelling portait painter. I developed a technique that allowed me to create affordable yet unique paintings each made to the requirements of an individual.
After many years I returned to my native United states and began working with wood again. At Jefferson woodworking (my uncle's workshop In the pacific Northwest) I helped make shaker-style, steam-bent boxes out of sustainable timber from the local landscape. Set in the woods Jefferson Woodworking is part of the natural environment, made of wood the workshop works with wood, burns wood to keep warm, and even uses wood chippings to compost the toilet. Trees from a client's property are cut down, converted and lovingly re-constructed into family heirloom furniture.The history of the tree lives on in sitting rooms and kitchens, the growing conditions and life-story of each tree there to see in the figure that emerges and shines as the wood is worked, smoothed and oiled.
I began to realize that wood is more than an inert material. It was once alive and continues breathing even after it is felled and worked. It has a life of its own, a story and it continues to 'live' even if it changes its form from tree to table. Wood will always have a depth, a warmth to it. Wood is sensual and tactile. One's first instinct is to want to touch it.
In america I was lucky enough to be able to work with local wood as special as birds-eye maple, Hawaiian Koa, quilted maple,Pear, Apple, Walnut and many more. I also realized that making furniture allowed me to indulge my creativity, using all my artistic flair within the parameters of the problem at hand.
I moved on, back to the south of Spain. In Andalucia I turned my skills and knowledge to living a low impact, sustainable and environmentally sound life-style that involved helping to build mongolian yurts, Indian Teepees and I even helped build a Gypsy horse-drawn wagon. Small spaces require ingenious solutions if they are to fulfil all the requirements
Back in the UK my son was born. I felt it necessary to put some structure to my learnings and experiences to date. I went back to college and achieved the recognised qualifications (Distinction in City & Guilds furniture design and restoration) to set-up and begin making commissioned furniture. Years of training, years of learning from others and a natural ability to visualize clearly the needs of a client mixed with a keen aesthetic sense and a friendly attitude allows me to successfully transform your ideas and dreams into a reality.I know I will never be rich but I am lucky enough to be doing something I love for a living.I welcome new challenges. No idea is too crazy to not at least give it a shot. It often works out in the end!