I have mainly taught myself the pleasures and agonies of working with many of the American hardwoods. Over the past 35+ years, I have enjoyed crafting many pieces of furniture however I have found the most challenge in making small heirloom and jewelry boxes using many of the same techniques as fine furniture makers. Matching the selection of wood for color and grain pattern to complement the box design are challenges I find interesting when both designing and crafting the heirloom and jewelry boxes.
Currently I am designing heirloom boxes using themes taken from traditional quilting blocks, applying the quilt design to the lid using tiles or veneers of various woods and also carrying the same quilt block theme into the shape of the box itself. Luckily, quilters have thousands of traditional quilt blocks to choose from which has allowed my creativity to flow. While the outside of the heirloom box is devoted to the quilt block theme, the inside is fabric-lined and partitioned into an exquisite jewelry box.
In 2012, my “Log Cabin” and “Grape Basket” Heirloom Boxes were accepted into the TACA Best of Tennessee Craft show in Nashville. My “Doves in the Window” Heirloom Box was accepted in the 2013 Master Woodworkers Show in Knoxville.
In addition to crafting fine jewelry boxes, I also enjoy bending one of the simplest boxes perfected by the Shakers. The Shaker oval box is the opposite of my heirloom boxes since it only uses four pieces of wood, copper tacks and wooden pegs. I enjoy bending these boxes using cherry, walnut, maple (straight grain/curly/birds eye) as well as quarter sawn sycamore. After a request from my wife, I began using various veneers to incorporate traditional quilt blocks on many of my Shaker boxes as well.
I am a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and currently sell my heirloom and shaker boxes in all of the SHCG shops in Asheville, Blowing Rock, Gatlinburg and Cumberland Gap. Additionally, I am a member of Tennessee Craft: Upper East Chapter and Holston Mountain Artisans in Abingdon.