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Some of my earliest memories of spending time with my dad are helping him with various handyman projects in the basement. He’d have me hold the end of a board while he hand sawed it, start some nails, mark where drill holes would be or hold the end of his folding ruler at a certain place. Using scrap lumber I built a little workbench where he let me  keep some of his smaller tools so I’d have some to work with. Thanks to my dad’s time and patience, when I started elementary school shop class I was already familiar with hand and a couple power tools.  

 

I used these skills infrequently over the years but always enjoyed getting involved with one project or another, working construction and welding jobs through college, learning how things go and stay together. After graduating from the University of South Florida in 1975 I bought a small rundown house and spent the next six years remodeling it one room at a time. I acquired some stationary power tools and slowly a garage wood shop evolved.

 

As a hobby I created a few curio boxes and some jewelry pieces, and in the summer of 1980 exhibited at my first craft show in Tampa. I won a small award, met a host of interesting people and willing mentors; woodworking was better called woodplaying. I quit my job two weeks later and have been self-employed ever since. My parents were supportive of what I was doing, I'm forever grateful to them for teaching me a strong work ethic and their loving enthusiasm.

 

A move to North Carolina in 1982 opened up the resources of a well established network of craftspeople and galleries from which to grow in my career. I developed a line of desk accessories and jewelry and marketed them through galleries and craft shows for several years. In the early 90’s I discovered an obscure technique for making bowls that led to a more upscale body of work I exhibited at many galleries and fine craft venues throughout the east coast.  Currently I enjoy making multilayered bowls and vessels by commission and continue producing a popular jewelry line, Featherwood, to galleries nationwide.


My wife, Debbie Littledeer is a talented artist known for her serigraph prints of landscapes and whimsical animals  (debbielittledeer.com).  We live and work in view of the beautiful Black Mountains near Burnsville NC.


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