I helped my father build a picnic table with attached benches. I was just old enough to push and pull the handsaw through the redwood. The smell and texture and the pleasure of working that wood remain with me today. But our table had a flaw. If its benches were not evenly weighted, it would tip over and spill the watermelon, ice cream, or whatever fare we shared. I became interested in design.
I chose a life as a craftsman. I studied, I read, I drew, and I built. I built cabinets, doors, windows, furniture, houses, and buildings known for their fit and finish, and I built a clientele who became friends. When my children were small, I no longer wanted to work out of the truck, only in the woodshop behind the house. I built a variety of custom pieces of furniture for my clientele, but I kept thinking of chairs as the challenge of the craft and kept experimenting to find a combination of comfort, beauty, and durability. Following the comments of dozens of people sitting in evolving prototypes, I perfected a rocking chair: comfortable, beautiful, and long lasting.
The rocking chair opened a new chapter in my life, in which I operate a small furnituremaking business. My wife, Leslie, makes sure the books are clean and true. Our son, Austin, manages the shop. I work on process, design, and telling our story. We have three craftsmen associates. We have patrons in every state, most Canadian provinces, Europe, Asia, and Australia. I still find pleasure in the smell and texture of the wood and in the craft. I am fulfilled by the words of satisfaction and enthusiasm from our clientele.