I remember waking up on my 20th Birthday and deciding that I was going to be a Carpenter.
I had an archetype in my mind that was a combination of a medieval master builder, Viking warrior, and backwoods, hippy lumberjack. For a while, I had an unpracticed obsession with wooden boats and furniture. But when I first laid eyes on the image of a timber frame, my heart spoke, “You can do this, and it will be amazing.” I left my home state of Alaska and moved to the Northeast to apprentice as a timber framer.
There’s something that emerges from an apprenticeship approach to building that can’t be matched with pure academics: adept hand skills, sensitivity to wood types and individual timbers, and an intuitive understanding of proportion and design. Expressing the strength within each tree is nearly a lost art now.
As a craftsman and designer, I straddle the two worlds of craft and art. I am profoundly humbled by the deep history of our timber framing lineage, but it’s never felt right to sit on those laurels and do what others have done before me. I honor tradition and still borrow from the immediate present—I want my homes to be a unique expression of this region. I want them to be inseparable from the land they sit on and the people they shelter.
I’m continually asking myself how I can translate the beauty of the forest, the rivers, and the mountains into my homes. How I can impart with these structures a small sense of the majesty, mystery, and utter peace of walking in the wild places?
I’ve seen tears shed, laughter fill the air, and friendships forged because of my craft. It’s given my life meaning and is my way to offer love as a gift to this world.