My early woodworking education was
in 18th century cabinetmaking, the skills for which I acquired--most
importantly-- from over 30 years at the bench, with chisel
in hand, and through the tutelage and personal friendship
of Franklin H. Gottshall, the nationally recognized woodworking
authority, author, and furniture designer for Wallace Nutting.
All work in the early decades was done exclusively with 18th
century tools, many of which are used in our workshops today.
Authenticity in 18th century techniques
was researched extensively at the Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg,
Wnterthur, and at antique dealerships such as that of David
Stockwell in Wilmington, Delaware. Interestingly, important
sources of information were found at the Library of Congress
in 18th and early 19th century books from collections such
as those of Thomas Jefferson.
From these years of 18th century
cabinetmaking came the Chippendale influence found in many
of our looking-glass frames.
Sculpture, in which I am largely
self-taught, emerged as the creative expression of a feeling
for shape and form and woodworking skills eager for originality.
In this I was helped by the instruction and encouragement
of Ibor Courson, the well-known bird carver, and by studies
at the National Gallery of Art and the British Museum.
Early on, I was blessed by the moral
support and daring patronage of people willing to invest in
my work. Among these was Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who visited
my workshop and commissioned a piece for her Gettysburg farmhouse,
now the Eisenhower National Historic Site.
Begun as an exercise in creativity, sculptural
design and creation evolved over a period of three decades
into the collection we now offer to our clientele--every piece
receiving the many hours of hand chiseled work and hand rubbed
finishing that make each sculpture distinctly different from
~Photograph of Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower
by permission of the Gerttysburg Times~