My evolution into furniture making began with graphic design and sign making. In 1988, I graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in graphic design.
Primarily a self-taught woodworker, I began by building and hand-lettering wooden signs for local businesses on Nantucket Island. I moved on to carpentry, and then began making furniture. I earned my Master Furniture Maker certificate from the Hill Institute in Florence Massachusetts, where I learned traditional furniture making techniques such as hand-cutting mortise & tenon and dovetail joinery, veneering, and carving.
While completing my furniture studies, I worked at a family owned home design center. As lead designer I designed kitchens, baths and home offices, which honed my analytical and design skills. I have since executed many architectural projects and built-ins.
Today, I have a one-woman workshop in Northampton Massachusetts, where I design and handcraft fine furniture.
My furniture tells the story of my process; like the decisions that I make while designing, and the marks that I leave with my chisels. Richness and beauty in my work is achieved by accentuating the depth of the natural grain of the wood.
I am inspired by tradition. My aesthetic is informed by classic forms and styles of the Federal Period and the Arts & Crafts movement. My education and interest in typography infuses my work. The decorative elements of many of my pieces are inspired by letterforms.
I start a piece by sketching ideas, working out my design and its proportions. My visualization starts taking shape when I fine tune the proportions, creating full size drawings by hand. I often work with cardboard and scrap wood to flesh out the idea in the third dimension.
When I go to buy wood, an exciting transition occurs, my work shifts from idea to form. I spend hours searching for the right wood for my piece. I look for dynamic wood grains and tones. I mark each piece with its designation in my plan. As I work the wood into its final form in my workshop, I fine tune my design decisions. My aesthetic choices don't stop until the piece is finished.
I use sustainably harvested wood in all of my work. It is important to support responsible forestry to ensure that woodworking has a viable future. A world without fine woodworking would be a dull one indeed. I take great pride carrying on the tradition of fine craftsmanship, working with my hands to create pieces that I hope will inspire others.
Many of the names that I use for my work are names of people and places of significance in my life. Some of my work is named to give clues to a deeper meaning.
I sign each piece with my hand-carved maker's mark, on furniture pieces I include the last two numbers of the year in which it was completed.