THE STORY OF AN INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING FURNITURE DESIGNER
I began making furniture as a profession in 2004 at age 32. By that time in my life, my design ethos and creativity surfaced with a passion that took me by storm. With no formal wood working education and only a few tools, it was a launch stoked by an aching to make something with my hands. Something rare, something beautiful and something lasting.
NO ONE TOLD ME I COULDN’T
And I didn’t ask. In my first year I achieved Juried Status Membership from the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council. Gradually, my name got out and commissions trickled in. I owe much to my wife and family for their support. And I owe much to my customers who took a chance on my raw abilities in those early days. But the journey from working in a borrowed single car garage to international award winning furniture designer is not for the faint of heart.
IT IS A LIFE SPENT ASCENDING THE CRAGGY PEAKS OF HEADY CREATIVITY
Then plunging into dark gorges of bare existence that only passion survives. Like many experiences that test us to our limits, wonderful things result when we endure. In September 2012, it was an honor to be named a finalist for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Award. In January 2016 I received a Certificate of Excellence from the 2015 Arts and Craft Design Award as well as a 2016 Niche Award. More recently I was named as a finalist for the 2016 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Art Award. Then in January of this year, I received the highest award to date – Arts and Crafts Design Award – for a recent design.The enduring value of these awards is the incentive they provide to keep on pushing my creativity to new levels.
I teach furniture making design and methods through Lee Valley seminars and one-on-one in my studio. I also write for the Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine. My work is in the collection of the Canadian High Commission in London, England and the Nova Scotia Art Bank.
FINE DESIGN RARELY HAPPENS BY CHANCE
Being a furniture maker is a wonderful advantage as a designer. A worrisome trend has arisen where so much design takes place on a computer screen. A maker , through use, understands joinery, wood movement, adhesives and finishes. The maker has gazed upon numerous pieces he or she has produced. The authentic maker also has a deep love for what they do and the people for whom they do it. This injects a quality into their design that cannot otherwise be achieved.
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