Biography of a Carpenter

 

 

I’ve been building since I was five years old.   Growing up in the woods at the end of the Western timber era meant you were always either on or near an old mill site and for a kid this had a least two advantages:  We had a lot of space and a lot of wood.

 My earliest memories are of my family of five living in a hollowed out redwood tree stump and my forts, sometimes 40 feet up in the trees, were products of my first designs.  Our 1000 year old house and my lofty dwellings; This was my first window into architecture, what Goethe called,

“Frozen Music.”   

I later made it to the big city.  Following another passion of mine, I got a masters degree in Literature, focusing on mystic poetry from Dante to Yeats (though Huck Finn remains my true love).  But there was never a time when I was not a builder.  I worked for years building low income housing in Northeast Portland and also apprenticed under some very successful local contractors.  For awhile I was moving toward the architecture of language over the more familiar poetry of form—my natural language.  Then after years of doing one and learning about the other I had an epiphany. 

The building process, the whole thing, from a simple closet to a contemporary Japanese bathroom, from solid communication and integrity to creating spaces that make people say, “Ah!” ---this is my poetry.    

The best part of part of what I do is learning about and creating a relationship with the people who I work with. How do you want to use your space?  Does it have integrity?  Flow?  Where do you want to be?  How do you want to feel?  Together we quite literally look into the future and find answers to these questions. 

Then I build it. Make it real. That’s my gift.

That, and more importantly, my belief that good design matters.  It matters because it invigorates, inspires heals, and yes, even changes the world.

I currently live on Mt. Tabor with my lovely and gifted wife who is a local ND and our 14 year old son Finnegan who lights up our lives each and every day.