WHY WE MAKE: It's About The Journey
It's kind of funny how we are all wired differently and a passion for one person is meaningless for another. I've always been an artist, even when I wasn't. Creating has always been deeply meaningful and satisfying. My life has taken many turns but always pointed to the same place. It's the journey that is said to be more important than the destination but heading to the right place seems pretty paramount to me.
Our About Us page tells the very brief story of who we are as woodworking artists but there is a long backstory that will be told in snippets in our blog. Making things with my hands has always been what keeps me drawing breath and the intricacies of figuring out how to do something occupies much of my thinking. The best part of getting to do what I now do is making different things all of the time. If we were a production company churning out the same thing day after day, I'd literally lose my mind and certainly wouldn't be able to eagerly get out of bed every morning.
As an art student at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, I struggled a lot with the conversations at the time about the philosophy of art. While sculpture was a limited offering, most of the studio classes were focused on two dimensional creating. Woodcraft was never part of the conversation and most of my peers seemed to be training in graphic design in preparation for entry into the commercial workplace, eager to work in Manhattan at an agency. The seminars we took all centered around really contemporary styles and I found most of it to be pretty ludicrous. Frankly, a lot of what was being called "art" made me angry because I saw no real talent required to do it. In one paper for a class, I recall lambasting the art culture and saying that I no more saw an artist in the works than I could call myself a carpenter by simply nailing two boards together.
By that time, my woodworking experience had already been pretty substantial for a 20 year old, yet there was no indication that a career could lay in store and no path seemed to exist in my mind. With my disdain for the idea of working in the city as a grunt at an agency and not wanting to have to compromise my creativity for commercial purposes led me in a strange direction. Rather than pursuing a career in artmaking with my degrees, I instead embarked in the direction of my minor in economics by entering into the commodities trade where I stood imprisoned for the next 29 years of my life. In my spare time, I survived mentally by remodeling, renovating, building and fine woodwork but it was only an offset to feed my innermost desires to use my hands, my design mind and basically to survive.