Please can you tell us about yourself and your back ground?
I was born and grew up in New York City. I joined the Army at a young age and was in Europe during WWII. After the war, I married and am still married to a wonderful, supportive, beautiful woman. For years I worked as a carpenter and general contractor and my wife says I have sawdust in my veins. We have two children and four grandchildren who live nearby in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Can you tell us a bit about your work and how did you start your Etsy shop?
I retired some years ago but still couldn’t get away from woodworking. Soon after I retired, I spent many summers Green Mountains of central Vermont teaching summer camp crafts and woodworking. Woodworking has become not just my hobby, but my passion as well. It’s what keeps me feeling young.I find deep satisfaction in the beauty of the finished product in both the beauty of the woods I use as well as the functionality of what I create. Each item I offer is completely hand crafted (my hands) and I only use environmentally friendly woods (I do not buy rainforest wood or old-growth redwood). To bring out the beauty of the wood, I finished each piece with nothing more than layers of hand rubbed wax. I never use stains, dyes, or inks. While I originally worked out of my small shop in upstate New York I recently moved to southern New Jersey to be closer to family.For years I participated in many craft shows. As I have gotten older, it has become a bit more difficult to maintain the busy schedule I had in the past but I didn’t want to give up my passion. I still do to a couple of local craft shows but wanted to find an outlet where I could still offer my products. A friend of mine told me about Etsy and I quickly set up shop. While originally slow, I have seen things improving and am looking forward to a busy holiday season for 2008.
What usually sparks off an idea?
Anything and everything. I look for items that will bring out the beauty of the wood and I’m always on the lookout for something creative. I may see something intriguing and try to duplicate it. Someone may just make a suggestion and I’ll follow that. I have been “just making some of my products for years and can’t remember what led up to them. I’m always open to suggestions and if someone wants something custom made, I’ll certainly do my best to accommodate that request.
Please tell us about your latest products:
Many of my “newer” items are variations of products I have offered for some time. I have been making boxes for a while but am working on one with a rather unique “popup” top. I am working on unique mouse pads where each one will be a bit different in the woods used and grain patterns. That’s part of the beauty of what I do and offering things through my Etsy shop, changes, small and large can be immediately placed on the site and this is why I try to encourage visitors to check back often as I am never quite sure what I will be making tomorrow.