Cutting a knee brace.

Cutting a knee brace.

At the age of 20, I decided to become a carpenter. I didn’t know it at the time, but my dedication to this craft would bring me limitless challenges and the fulfillment of my life’s dream to live with meaning. Now, a part of my life goes into each place I create, and I am committed to creating homes with stories of their own.

With oak beams in the shop yard awaiting shipment for an on-site raising. 

With oak beams in the shop yard awaiting shipment for an on-site raising. 

I began as a union carpenter in Portland, Oregon, but I wanted something more substantial and lasting than the work I was doing there. I traveled to study at Pat Wolfe’s school of Log Building in Ontario, Canada, after which I returned to my home state of Alaska and worked professionally as a full scribe log builder. It was at this point that a chance encounter with a photograph of a Timber Frame inspired me to depart Alaska and begin pursuing this craft that dates back to the medieval era. In 1997, I moved to the Northeastern United States and began working as a Timber Framer. Over the course of six years, I worked in a variety of shops, from technologically-oriented shops to those using traditional hand tools for seventeenth- and eighteenth-century restoration.

My signature etching on a finished frame, inspired by a sixteenth-century Welsh Timber Framer who left his handprint to sign his handiwork.

I had a special devotion to seeking out the old masters to challenge and inform myself. I developed a keen interest in recreating in myself the Master Builder of medieval times — one who undergoes not only an apprenticeship of the body but also the mind and spirit. The Master Builder was carpenter, architect, and general contractor rolled into one.

To continue my education, I attended various schools such as The Fox Maple School of Natural Building, The Heartwood School, Yestermorrow Design Build School, The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and Shaker Hancock Traditional Timber Framing Workshop. Eventually, I became a member of the Traditional Timber Framing Research and Advisory Group, The Timber Framers Guild and The Carpenters Fellowship out of England.

After ten years of hands-on learning, coupled with intensive training courses and one-on-one teaching, I felt it was time to open the doors to my own shop in 2004. I did this with great respect, as I felt the entire tradition resting upon my own shoulders to uphold. This began in Maine but truly took off in Sandpoint, Idaho, where my family and I reside. In the years that followed, I built homes, began to give workshops of my own, and continued to participate in the worldwide Timber Framing community. I served two terms as a Director for the Timber Framers Guild, and am a certified journeyman, an honor held by only a small number of Timber Framers nationally. Because I believe in the importance of local beauty and responsibility, I also presently serve as a Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commissioner.

I have committed my life to the built environment, one that will hold the seeds of hope and inspire each of us in our interactions with it. I see myself in a long lineage of Master Builders, and it is with this intention that I approach the craft.